Peter de Villiers has confirmed 13 players have been added to the list of contracted Springboks for the 2011 season.
The existing list of contracted Boks includes Bakkies Botha, Schalk Burger, Fourie du Preez, Jaque Fourie, Bryan Habana, Victor Matfield, JP Pietersen, John Smit, Juan Smith and Pierre Spies. This group signed two-year contracts at the beginning of 2010 and are committed until the end of the 2011 World Cup.
On Wednesday, the Bok coach confirmed a second group has been signed for the season. Andries Bekker, Heinrich Brüssow, Bismarck du Plessis, Adrian Jacobs, Tendai Mtawarira, Wynand Olivier, Danie Rossouw and Morné Steyn have signed new one year contracts, while Juan de Jongh, Jean de Villiers, Jannie du Plessis, CJ van der Linde and Gurthrö Steenkamp join the contracted group having not held contracts in 2010.
‘We began discussing contracts with a second group of players last year and we obviously believe they have the capability to make the Rugby World Cup squad,’ De Villiers said. ‘Those contracts have now been finalised but the priority for us is to take the best, in-form players to the tournament and these players are aware that inclusion in this group is no guarantee of a World Cup place for them.’
De Villiers explained that only South African-based players had been considered for contracts.
‘We’re closely monitoring the form of players both at home and abroad and there are already a number who are forcing their way into the reckoning who were not really in the picture 12 months ago. But it’s still four and a half months until we have to name our final Rugby World Cup squad, and a lot can happen in that time.’