Boks name RWC hopefuls

The Springboks have named six uncapped players in a preliminary Springbok World Cup squad of 49.

Ireland-based BJ Botha and Johann Muller were also notable names. Botha, Muller, Bjorn Basson, Dean Greyling, Alistair Hargreaves, Adi Jacobs, Elton Jantjies, Ricky Januarie, Ryan Kankowski, Zane Kirchner, Francois Louw and Deon Stegmann were omissions from a World Cup planning camp held in Durban recently, but they have now been included in the wider squad.

Zimbabwe-born Brian Mujati is absent as SA Rugby continue to wait for the paperwork that confirms his citizenship to be processed.

Overall the squad contains 21 World Cup winners from 2007. In a press statement, the South African Rugby Union said the list is not definitive and the final squad can include players from outside the initial group.

Springbok coach Peter de Villiers said: ‘We have got a good blend of youth and experience as well as including some uncapped players who have forced their way into contention for selection with their performances in Super Rugby.

‘Our Tri-Nations squad will be drawn from this group once we have been able to sort out those players who are carrying injuries at the end of the Super Rugby competition.’

The Springboks’ Tri-Nations squad will be named on July 2 or 9 (depending on South African involvement in the Super Rugby final), with the final 30-man World Cup group announced on 23 August.

Preliminary Springbok World Cup squad: Bok planning squad: John Smit (c), Victor Matfield (v/c), Willem Alberts, Gio Aplon, Andries Bekker, Bjorn Basson, Bakkies Botha, BJ Botha, Heinrich Brüssow, Schalk Burger, Juan de Jongh, Jean de Villiers, Bismarck du Plessis, Jannie du Plessis, Fourie du Preez, Jaque Fourie, Dean Greyling, Bryan Habana, Alistair Hargreaves, Francois Hougaard, Adi Jacobs, Butch James, Elton Jantjies, Ricky Januarie, Ashley Johnson, Ryan Kankowski, Zane Kirchner, Werner Kruger, Pat Lambie, Francois Louw, Tendai Mtawarira, Johann Muller, Lwazi Mvovo, Odwa Ndungane, Wynand Olivier, Coenie Oosthuizen, Ruan Pienaar, JP Pietersen, Chiliboy Ralepelle, Danie Rossouw, Juan Smith, Pierre Spies, Gurthrö Steenkamp, Deon Stegmann, Francois Steyn, Morné Steyn, Adriaan Strauss, Flip van der Merwe, Duane Vermeulen