International Rugby, Springboks

Du Plessis returns, 17 uncapped players selected by South Africa

Veteran hooker Bismarck du Plessis has been recalled to the South Africa squad by Rassie Erasmus, who named 17 uncapped players for Tests against Wales and England.

Du Plessis, 34, made the last of his 79 appearances for the Springboks at the 2015 Rugby World Cup and provides valuable experience as Erasmus ushers in a new era after replacing Allister Coetzee.

The director of rugby has selected an extensive 43-man squad and will announce the choice of skipper on Monday, with captaincy candidate Warren Whiteley having been ruled out due to injury.

The three Du Preez brothers Dan, Jean-Luc and Robert have all been included, while Faf de Klerk earned a recall after the restrictions ruling overseas players with fewer than 30 caps out of contention were lifted.

“The coaching staff has done a lot of preparation and the players’ contribution in this process, during and after our three camps, has been tremendously positive,” Erasmus said in a statement.

“We know Wales and England will be very thorough in their analysis and overall preparation and we have to be ready for them. The players know what we expect of them, and that they will have to work very hard in a short space of time to be ready for the Tests against Wales and England.

“It’s good to see how our exciting young players have grabbed their opportunities for their franchises in the last couple of months.

“But we also know how important experience is at Test level, so we thought long and hard about which players to pull in from abroad, and in the end we only settled on five who we thought consistently performed well for their clubs in the tough English and French competitions.

“I am confident that we have a strong group of players from which we will be able to select a very competitive team for each of the four Test matches in June.”

South Africa will take on Wales in Washington DC on June 2 before a trio of Tests against England in Johannesburg, Bloemfontein and Cape Town.


South Africa squad:

Forwards: Nizaam Carr (DHL Stormers), Bismarck du Plessis (Montpellier), Dan du Preez (Sharks), Jean-Luc du Preez (Sharks), Pieter-Steph du Toit (Stormers), Thomas du Toit (Sharks), Jason Jenkins (Bulls), Steven Kitshoff (Stormers), Siya Kolisi (Stormers), Wilco Louw (Stormers), Frans Malherbe (Stormers), Bongi Mbonambi (Stormers), Oupa Mohoje (Cheetahs), Franco Mostert (Lions), Tendai Mtawarira (Sharks), Ox Nche (Cheetahs), Sikhumbuzo Notshe (Stormers), Trevor Nyakane (Bulls), Marvin Orie (Lions), Chiliboy Ralepelle (Sharks), Kwagga Smith (Emirates Lions), RG Snyman (Bulls), Akker van der Merwe (Sharks), Duane Vermeulen (Toulon).

Backs: Lukhanyo Am (Sharks), Curwin Bosch (Sharks), Damian de Allende (Stormers), Faf de Klerk (ale Sharks), Robert du Preez (Sharks), Aphiwe Dyantyi (Lions), André Esterhuizen (Sharks), Warrick Gelant (Bulls), Travis Ismaiel (Bulls), Elton Jantjies (Lions), Jesse Kriel (Bulls), Willie le Roux (Wasps), Makazole Mapimpi (Sharks), Sibusiso Nkosi (Sharks), Embrose Papier (Bulls), Handre Pollard (Bulls), Francois Steyn (Montpellier), Ivan van Zyl (Bulls), Cameron Wright (Sharks). News wire is powered by opta

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