After struggling to make the regular Cheetahs 22, Peter de Villiers has named flanker Kabamba Floors in his Springbok training squad.
Floors has one Test cap to his name but has failed to feature for the Boks since the tour to Ireland and England in 2006. He has made one start for Naka Drotske’s Cheetahs this season before falling out with the coach and electing to pursue a career in Sevens.
De Villiers reiterated this was a training squad and a few of the selections were made with the next four years in mind. Uncapped players include Andries Bekker, Schalk Brits, Gerhard Mostert, Brian Mujati, Duanne Vermeulen, Heinie Adams, Isma-eel Dollie, Zane Kirchner, Louis Ludik and Earl Rose.
Chiliboy Ralepelle makes the squad despite failing to play a single Super 14 match this season.
“We’ve made these selections with the next four years in mind,” said De Villiers. “We’ve included a mix of old hands and young blood hoping that experience will rub off on the youngsters.”
De Villiers has recalled European-based players who were so successful at the World Cup last year. John Smit is retained as captain while Butch James, Percy Montgomery and Victor Matfield should also form the core of the team.
Lions flyhalf Andre Pretorius, who played understudy to James last year, is omitted. Pretorius missed the entire Super 14 because of injury, but De Villiers has included other injured players like Ralepelle and Schalk Burger.
The squad will meet for the first time on Wednesday in Somerset West. The Sharks players involved with the Boks will only be announced once they have finished with Super 14 commitments.
The current make-up includes 13 Bulls, 12 Stormers, seven Cheetahs and six Lions. Smit, James, Montgomery and Matfield will join the group after stints with European clubs.
Springbok training squad (excluding Sharks players):
Wian du Preez
John Smit (c)
CJ van der Linde
Heinke van der Merwe
Wikus van Heerden
Joe van Niekerk
Jean de Villiers
Fourie du Preez