Paige, Kirchner in Bok squad

Scrumhalf Rudy Paige and fullback Zane Kirchner have been included in the Springboks' 31-man World Cup squad.

As reported earlier this week, the uncapped Paige has been preferred to Cobus Reinach, who has 10 Test caps, including four as a substitute for the Boks this season.

Kirchner has been included in the squad despite playing just one Test for the Boks as a substitute in 2014 and one as a starter in 2015.

As far as the flankers are concerned, Siya Kolisi cracked the nod, having made just one Test appearance this season off the bench, while Heinrich Brüssow, who started three Tests this season, and Marcell Coetzee missed out.

Schalk Brits was picked as the third-choice hooker ahead of Scarra Ntubeni. Morné Steyn, and not Elton Jantjies, will travel as the third-choice flyhalf.

There was also no room in the squad for midfielder Frans Steyn.

Only five props, including the injury-plagued Coenie Oosthuizen, were selected, with Marcel van der Merwe and Vincent Koch missing out.

Three Test centurions, Victor Matfield, Bryan Habana and captain Jean de Villiers have been included in the squad.

Matfield and Burger will take part in their fourth World Cup, while De Villiers, Habana, JP Pietersen, Ruan Pienaar, Fourie du Preez, Bismarck and Jannie du Plessis will play in their third. Six players who featured in 2011, are back for their second tournament.

Sixteen members of the 31-man squad, 12 of whom made their Test debut under Heyneke Meyer since 2012, will have their first taste of World Cup action.

The average age of the selected players is a little over 26 and the combined number of caps in the squad is 1 297.

Springboks' 31-man World Cup squad:

Forwards – Willem Alberts, Schalk Brits, Schalk Burger,  Lood de Jager, Bismarck du Plessis, Jannie du Plessis, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Eben Etzebeth, Siya Kolisi, Francois Louw, Frans Malherbe, Victor Matfield, Beast Mtawarira, Trevor Nyakane, Coenie Oosthuizen, Adriaan Strauss, Duane Vermeulen.

Backs – Jean de Villiers (c), Damian de Allende, Fourie du Preez, Bryan Habana, Zane Kirchner, Jesse Kriel, Pat Lambie, Willie le Roux, Lwazi Mvovo, Rudy Paige, Ruan Pienaar, JP Pietersen, Handré Pollard, Morné Steyn,  

Photo: Steve Haag/Gallo Images

Post by