Morne Steyn’s outstanding Super 14 form has seen him realise his dream of becoming a Springbok.
There are 10 players each from the Bulls and Sharks, four from the Stormers and two each from the Lions and Cheetahs in the 28-man squad.
Steyn is likely to cover flyhalf in case of injury or loss of form to incumbent Ruan Pienaar, with Stormers pivot Peter Grant overlooked. There’s also recognition for Wynand Olivier’s superb form throughout the Super 14.
Springbok coach Peter de Villiers singled out Johann Muller and Heinrich Brussow as being ‘very unlucky’ to miss out on selection, while there is also no place for the in-form Akona Ndungane – his brother Odwa preferred instead.
The one unexpected selection is Sharks prop Deon Carstens, who will provide cover at both loosehead and tighthead.
There is no recognised fullback in the squad. Reports suggest that Jaque Fourie is likely to fill the void left by Conrad Jantjes. Bulls fullback Zane Kirchner was thought to stand a good chance of cracking the squad, but he will play for a strong Emerging Boks side instead.
Springboks squad for the British & Irish Lions tour
Forwards - Andries Bekker, Schalk Burger, Bismarck Du Plessis, Ryan Kankowski, Tendai Mtawarira, John Smit (c), Juan Smith, Pierre Spies, Victor Matfield (v/c), Bakkies Botha, Danie Rossouw, Gurthrö Steenkamp, Deon Carstens.
Backs - Jean de Villiers, Fourie du Preez, Jacque Fourie, Bryan Habana, Adrian Jacobs, Ricky Januarie, Odwa Ndungane, Jongi Nokwe, Wynand Olivier, Ruan Pienaar, JP Pietersen, Earl Rose, Morne Steyn, Frans Steyn.
Emerging Boks to face the Lions on 23 June
Backs - Heini Adams, Bjorn Basson, Burton Francis, Zane Kirchner, Louis Ludik, Morgan Newman, Earl Rose, Deon van Rensburg, Jano Vermaak, Luzuko Vulindlu.
Forwards - Jacques Botes, Jean Deysel, Wian du Preez, Werner Kruger, Tiaan Liebenberg, Bandise Maku, Dewald Pretorius, Wihelm Steenkamp, Steven Sykes, Franco van der Merwe, Duane Vermuelen.