Heyneke to hail Heinke

Reports from Ireland suggest that Heinke van der Merwe is the probable latest European-based South African to be added to the Springbok touring squad.

Van der Merwe, when confirmed, will complete the 32-strong squad after Northampton’s tighthead Brian Mujati was declared ineligible because he is not a South African citizen. It is what kept Mujati out of the World Cup.

The Zimbabwean-born and raised prop was resident in South Africa when selected for the Boks. He played 10 Tests before he was ruled ineligible because he had not served the required residential period in South Africa.

Subsequent to his Bok non-selection his signed for Northampton and has not returned to South Africa.

Meyer in recent days acknowledged Mujati’s form and the hope he would be cleared to play. Instead he seems to have turned his attentions to selected former SA U21 and Lions prop Heinke van der Merwe, who has previously been capped for the Boks.

Van der Merwe is one of several South African props impressing in the European club scene. He plays for Leinster, Ireland’s premier province. Several of the Leinster squad will be part of Ireland’s match 22 on Saturday.

Meyer would not confirm the status of Bath-based open side flank Francois Louw but Bath director of rugby and former Springbok assistant coach Gary Gold confirmed Louw is still struggling with a neck injury. He is doubtful to play against Ireland.