Mtawarira wins Tri-Nations recall
June 26, 2010
Tendai Mtawarira has won a Springbok recall © Getty Images
South Africa coach Peter De Villiers has handed an immediate recall to Tendai Mtawarira in his Tri-Nations tour squad after the Sharks prop was granted South African citizenship.
The 'Beast', born in Zimbabwe, missed out on recent Test against Wales, France and Italy on the orders of the Ministry of Support, who barred the South African Rugby Union from selecting him as he did not have a South African passport.
Mtawarira joins 21 players who were involved in Saturday's win over Italy in the squad, including Bath's Butch James and Ulster's BJ Botha. Locks Victor Matfield and Danie Rossouw, No.8 Ryan Kankowski, prop CJ van der Linde and fullback Zane Kirchner all return to the squad.
The Springboks kick off their Tri-Nations campaign against New Zealand in Auckland on July 10 before a return game at Westpac Stadium on July 17. Following that there is a hop across the Tasman to face Australia in Brisbane on July 24.
"It's a strong squad," De Villiers said. "We are fortunate to have so many of our frontline players fit and available, which shows that our management of the players is working well. There is a very strong core of experience in this group and there are several leaders too. The new players who have come into the set-up this season are rewarded for their good performances.
"We are very fortunate that we have several players who are versatile and can offer us options in different positions. The Tri-Nations is always tough and this year's tournament takes on added significance given that the World Cup is taking place in New Zealand next year. We have a tough start with successive matches against New Zealand but we have had a good build-up and we have shown that we can win in New Zealand over the past two seasons."
South Africa squad:
Backs: Gio Aplon (Stormers), Juan de Jongh (Stormers), Jean de Villiers (Western Province), Jaque Fourie (Stormers), Bryan Habana (Stormers), Francois Hougaard (Bulls), Butch James (Bath), Ricky Januarie (Stormers), Zane Kirchner (Bulls), Wynand Olivier (Bulls), Ruan Pienaar (Sharks), Morné Steyn (Bulls).
Forwards: Andries Bekker (Stormers), Bakkies Botha (Bulls), BJ Botha (Ulster), Schalk Burger (Stormers), Jannie du Plessis (Sharks), Ryan Kankowski (Sharks), Francois Louw (Stormers), Victor Matfield (Bulls), Tendai Mtawarira (Sharks), Dewald Potgieter (Bulls), Chiliboy Ralepelle (Bulls), Danie Rossouw (Bulls), John Smit (Sharks, captain), Pierre Spies (Bulls), Gurthrö Steenkamp (Bulls), CJ van der Linde (Cheetahs)