Springboks pick 5 uncapped players for Europe

Springboks pick 5 uncapped players for Europe

South Africa coach Heyneke Meyer included five uncapped players in a 36-man squad named Monday for Tests in Ireland, England, Italy and Wales during November.

Left-wing Seabelo Senatla, hooker Robbie Coetzee, tighthead prop Julian Redelinghuys, flanker Jaco Kriel and No.8 Nizaam Carr have yet to wear the green and gold.

The quintet owe their inclusions to outstanding Currie Cup form with all five coming from champions Western Province or runners-up Golden Lions.

"Julian has been impressive all season and if it was not for injuries, he might have been a Springbok already," Meyer said in a South African Rugby Union statement.

"Next to Julian, Robbie was part of a very dominant Lions scrum throughout the season and this is also a reward for his consistently good performances, including line-out throwing.

"Nizaam is a versatile loose forward who can play in any back-row position and has proven his worth as a flanker and No.8 this season.

"Jaco is really very fast for a loose forward and scored the most tries (nine) in the Currie Cup this season and we need openside cover following the injury to Francois Louw.

"The speed of Seabelo is well known to those who have seen him play for the BlitzBokke (national sevens team) and he has made the most of his Currie Cup opportunities." 

Meyer recalled France-based fly-half Johan Goosen and prop Coenie Oosthuizen, originally a loosehead who has struggled to make the transition to tighthead.

With rising star Handre Pollard, Patrick Lambie and veteran Morne Steyn also included, Meyer has a wealth of fly-halves for a tour that begins with a November 8 Test in Dublin.

The rest of the squad featured in the recent Rugby Championship, where South Africa finished second behind New Zealand and ahead of Australia and Argentina.

South Africa travel to Europe boosted by a first triumph over world champions New Zealand during three seasons under Meyer with a late, monster Lambie penalty delivering a 27-25 victory.

Meyer acknowledged that a difficult tour lay ahead for the Springboks, who will be among the favourites to win the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England.

"We start against Six Nations champions Ireland in Dublin and then take on England, who have been on an upward curve over the last couple of years," he said.

"Italy are always tough customers at home and Wales have one of the most consistent teams in the last couple of seasons." 

The Springboks hosted the Welsh in two Tests last June, winning the first convincingly and the second by a single point.

Meyer said the eight foreign-based players would not be available for the Cardiff Test as it falls outside the Test window and they must return to their clubs.

Those affected are wing-cum-centre JP Pietersen, left-wing Bryan Habana, Goosen, Steyn, scrum-half Ruan Pienaar, prop Gurthro Steenkamp, lock Bakkies Botha and flanker Schalk Burger.
Squad

Forwards (20): Bakkies Botha, Schalk Burger, Nizaam Carr, Marcell Coetzee, Robbie Coetzee, Eben Etzebeth, Lodewyk de Jager, Jaco Kriel, Victor Matfield, Teboho Mohoje, Tendai Mtawarira, Trevor Nyakane, Coenie Oosthuizen, Bismarck du Plessis, Jannie du Plessis, Julian Redelinghuys, Gurthro Steenkamp, Adriaan Strauss, Duane Vermeulen, Warren Whiteley

Backs (16): Damian de Allende, Johan Goosen, Bryan Habana, Cornal Hendricks, Francois Hougaard, Patrick Lambie, Lwazi Mvovo, Ruan Pienaar, JP Pietersen, Handre Pollard, Cobus Reinach, Willie le Roux, Seabelo Senatla, Jan Serfontein, Morne Steyn, Jean de Villiers (capt) 

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