Craig Burden has been brought in to cover hooker for the Springboks’ Test against Argentina in Mendoza on Saturday.
This in light of a knee injury that has ruled Bismarck du Plessis out of the remainder of the season. Adriaan Strauss will start against the Pumas on Saturday, with Tiaan Liebenberg playing off the wood. Burden, who has seen little Super Rugby game time in recent years, will be an insurance policy should anything happen to the aforementioned duo.
Keo.co.za can also confirm that wing Bryan Habana travelled to South America with an ankle brace. Team manager Ian Schwartz told this site that it was just being used for safety precautions and the speedster will be fit to play this weekend. Lock Andries Bekker, who struggled with a back strain after the Newlands Test, will also be available for selection.
Meanwhile Dean Greyling (prop), Juandré Kruger (lock) and Jano Vermaak (scrumhalf) were added to the travelling group to provide depth in those positions.
The squad will be reviewed after the Argentina Test before a 28-man group that will travel to Australia and New Zealand.
‘We only finalised the touring squad after the Test against Argentina at Newlands on Saturday afternoon as we wanted to first assess the injury situation,’ said Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer.
‘It’s never nice to leave behind players, but we’re only permitted to travel with 26 players. The players that stay behind will benefit from game time in the Currie Cup and will certainly be in the selection frame when we select the squad for the next leg of the Rugby Championship.’
The 26-man Springbok squad to Argentina:
Forwards (15): Willem Alberts, Andries Bekker, Craig Burden, Pat Cilliers, Marcell Coetzee, Keegan Daniel, Jannie du Plessis, Eben Etzebeth, Dean Greyling, Juandré Kruger, Tiaan Liebenberg, Tendai Mtawarira, Jacques Potgieter, Adriaan Strauss, Flip van der Merwe
Backs (11): Jean de Villiers (c), JJ Engelbrecht, Bryan Habana, Francois Hougaard, Zane Kirchner, Patrick Lambie, Lwazi Mvovo, Ruan Pienaar, Frans Steyn, Morné Steyn, Jano Vermaak