Patrick Lambie has been left out of the 24-man Springbok squad selected for the Tri-Nations Tests in South Africa.
As expected, coach Peter de Villiers has recalled the majority of the players that were precluded from the Australasian tour. The players that won’t be considered due to injuries are Schalk Burger (hand), Juan Smith (Achilles), Andries Bekker (ankle), Willem Alberts (shoulder), Johann Muller (hamstring) and Duane Vermeulen (knee).
Surprisingly, Lambie is excluded from the group, as Butch James and Morne Steyn are listed as the flyhalf options. Chiliboy Ralepelle also hasn’t made the 24-man cut despite his impressive efforts on tour.
Burger, Smith and Alberts won’t be considered for the Test against Australia on 13 August, but will join the squad in Durban and continue with their rehabilitation. Cheetahs flank Heinrich Brussow will be assessed after this weekend’s Currie Cup match against WP, and if the Bok medical team is satisfied with his progress, he may come into contention for next week’s Test.
The big bolter is Gerhard Mostert, who wins a place in the squad ahead of Bulls No 4 lock Flip van der Merwe. Mostert made his debut against the All Blacks last week.
‘It’s very satisfying to see that Victor Matfield and Bakkies Botha have now largely overcome their injuries but they still require management as we have a shortage of fit locks at the moment,’ said De Villiers.
‘We also have injury problems among the loose forwards but I am hopeful that all of the four who are not currently in the playing squad will be ready for selection by the time of the World Cup.’
The squad will assemble in Durban on Sunday.
Springbok Squad for Tri-Nations home Tests:
Juan de Jongh
Jean de Villiers
Fourie du Preez
John Smit (c)
Bismarck du Plessis
Jannie du Plessis
CJ van der Linde