Whiteley to captain Boks

Warren Whiteley will captain a 31-man Springbok squad that includes eight uncapped players for the three-Test series against France in June.

Whiteley becomes the 58th Bok captain and will get his first opportunity to lead the team when the squad gets together at a training camp in Plettenberg Bay next week.

The national selectors also recalled six experienced players to the squad – Frans Steyn, Jan Serfontein, Francois Hougaard, Duane Vermeulen, Coenie Oosthuizen and Chiliboy Ralepelle. Steyn last played for the Boks in 2012, Ralepelle in 2013, and Serfontein and Oosthuizen in 2015. Vermeulen missed last year's Rugby Championship and end-of-year tour, while Hougaard missed the end-of-year tour.

The eight uncapped players in the squad are Lukhanyo Am, Andries Coetzee, Ross Cronjé, Dillyn Leyds, Raymond Rhule, Courtnall Skosan, Ruan Dreyer and Lizo Gqoboka. Four of them – Rhule, Cronjé, Dreyer and Gqoboka – have previously toured with the Boks, but are yet to play in a Test for South Africa.

Notable overseas-based or overseas-bound players to miss out on selection are Faf de Klerk, Cobus Reinach, Ruan Pienaar, JP Pietersen, Bryan Habana, Bismarck du Plessis, Jannie du Plessis, Vincent Koch, Schalk Burger, Willie le Roux, Willem Alberts, Flip van der Merwe, Juandré Kruger, Marcel van der Merwe and Morné Steyn. Bath flank Francois Louw is injured.

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Flyhalf Pat Lambie is still symptomatic following his concussion. After discussions with the player and the medical teams of both the Springboks and the Sharks, it was decided not to consider him for selection for the Bok squad.

'Warren has been one of the outstanding leaders in South African rugby for many years,' said coach Allister Coetzee. 'He is respected by his teammates and opposition alike and has a lot of experience when it comes to captaincy, having led the Lions with great authority for many seasons. He is resilient, copes well under pressure and makes good decisions.

'The national selectors have rewarded form and we are looking forward to face the French team next month. I am confident the players will do the jersey and our country proud.'

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Springbok squad:

Forwards – Lood de Jager, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Ruan Dreyer, Eben Etzebeth, Steven Kitshoff, Siya Kolisi, Jaco Kriel, Frans Malherbe, Malcolm Marx, Bongi Mbonambi, Oupa Mohoje, Franco Mostert, Tendai Mtawarira, Lizo Gqoboka, Coenie Oosthuizen, Chiliboy Ralepelle, Duane Vermeulen, Warren Whiteley (c).

Backs – Lukhanyo Am, Andries Coetzee, Ross Cronjé, Damian de Allende, Francois Hougaard, Elton Jantjies, Jesse Kriel, Dillyn Leyds, Rudy Paige, Raymond Rhule, Jan Serfontein, Courtnall Skosan, Frans Steyn

Photo: Dirk Kotze/Gallo Images

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Simon Borchardt