Rugby Championship
Meyer adds four new faces to the mix
ESPN Staff
August 29, 2012
The Cheetahs' Johan Goosen kicks for goal, Lions v Cheetahs, Super Rugby, Coca Cola Park, Johannesburg, South Africa, February 25, 2012 in
Johan Goosen was a standout player in last season's Super Rugby competition © Getty Images

Heyneke Meyer has added four fresh faces to the Springboks squad ahead of their clashes with the Wallabies and the All Blacks in the Rugby Championship.

The Boks face Australia in Perth on September 8 and then New Zealand in Dunedin on September 15 and Meyer has called up uncapped duo Duane Vermeulen and Cheetahs Johan Goosen. Meyer has also called in Stormers centre Juan de Jongh and Bath flanker Francois Louw.

De Jongh was part of the group that played Argentina in the first match of the Championship while Louw last played for the Boks back in the 2011 World Cup. Louw's inclusion means that it is likely that he will miss the first few games of Bath's season.

The Boks drew with the Pumas 16-16 on Saturday and Meyer is keen for his side to improve. "We were not happy with our performance in Mendoza and we are making no excuses for what happened there, but we take full responsibility and have to look forward and get ready for our next tough match, against Australia in Perth," Meyer said. "Untimely injuries to Bismarck du Plessis, Chiliboy Ralepelle, Pierre Spies, JP Pietersen and Bjorn Basson have already hit us hard in the past few weeks. This again provides opportunities for other players to put up their hands.

"We were very keen to give Siya Kolisi an opportunity on this tour, but he is also out injured, alongside a list of other injured or unavailable forwards that include Gurthrö Steenkamp, Heinrich Brüssow, Schalk Burger, Juan Smith and Ryan Kankowski."

Commenting on the four new players in the squad, Meyer said: "Injuries meant we could not use Duane and Johan earlier in the season, but both have played Currie Cup rugby since their return and after consultation with their respective provincial medical teams, we're confident that they are ready to travel with us.

"I regard both of them as world class rugby players. If it wasn't for injuries, Duane would have been a Springbok long ago. I also believe Johan has a long career ahead of him at Test match level and we will expose him when and how we feel it will benefit the player and the team best.

"Both Juan and Francois played at the Rugby World Cup last year and are experienced players. Juan covers both positions in the midfield and we opted for Francois because he is a specialist openside flanker, in the absence of Schalk, Heinrich and Siya, that can cover blindside and No 8 as well, while he is also a very useful option in the lineout."

Springboks squad:

Forwards: Willem Alberts, Andries Bekker, Craig Burden, Pat Cilliers, Marcell Coetzee, Jannie du Plessis, Eben Etzebeth, Dean Greyling, Juandré Kruger, Tiaan Liebenberg, Francois Louw, Tendai Mtawarira, Jacques Potgieter, Adriaan Strauss, Flip van der Merwe

Backs: Juan de Jongh, Jean de Villiers (capt), Johan Goosen, Bryan Habana, Francois Hougaard, Zane Kirchner, Pat Lambie, Lwazi Mvovo, Ruan Pienaar, Frans Steyn, Morné Steyn, Jano Vermaak, Duane Vermeulen

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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