Hughes replaces Marsh on South Africa tour

Sydney: Injured batsman Shaun Marsh has been ruled out of Australia`s tour of South Africa, with Phil Hughes handed another chance to prove himself at Test level.

Marsh has been struggling with a calf strain and stayed back in Perth for intensive treatment.

"As Shaun Marsh`s calf injury has not improved as much as required over the past four days he has been withdrawn from the Test Squad for the tour of South Africa," National Selector John Inverarity said in a statement late Thursday.

"Phillip Hughes had been placed on standby and now comes into the Test squad as a replacement for Shaun. Phillip will head to South Africa as soon as possible."

Hughes has played 26 Tests since his debut in 2009, but has never been able to hold down a regular place in the side.

On Thursday, fast bowler Jackson Bird was declared fit and was due to fly out to join the rest of the squad in South Africa on Friday after being cleared of a back injury.

Australia play their only warm-up match in Potchefstroom from February 5 ahead of three Tests, with the first in Centurion on February 12.