South African Rugby
Springboks name new caps in training squad
May 19, 2009
Golden Lions fly-half Earl Rose, September 27 2008
Uncapped Lions fly-half Earl Rose has been named in the South African training squad © Getty Images

South Africa coach Peter de Villiers has named six uncapped players in his training squad to face Namibia in Windhoek on May 29. The game will give the Springbok coaching staff a chance to run the rule over players before deciding on the make-up of the squad to face the touring British and Irish Lions, which is to be announced on June 1.

The uncapped players in the squad are Sharks Steven Sykes and Jean Deysel, Lions scrum-half Jaano Vermaak and fly-half Earl Rose, Cheetahs prop Wian du Preez and Western Province centre Morgan Newman. There is no call-up for Sharks scrum-half Rory Kockott however, the tenacious No.9 a surprise omission after an excellent Super 14 campaign.

The squad will be captained as normal by Sharks hooker John Smit, and contains big names such as Schalk Burger, Jean de Villiers and JP Pietersen. The squad is without Bulls players involved in the Super 14 semi-final however, including Bryan Habana, Fourie Du Preez, Bakkies Botha and Victor Matfield, and also likely Test fly-half Ruan Pienaar who is out for three weeks with an injury. Lions centre Jaque Fourie was excused in order to get married on May 30.

"Ruan is expected to be out for about three weeks and we will closely monitor his progress," de Villiers said. "I am hoping he will be fit to play in the first Test against the Lions in Durban but we are fortunate in that we have adequate cover in the fly-half position if it is required.

"Without the opportunity of a few warm-up games we must ensure we get the most out of this match, regardless of the fact that some players are not in attendance. After this match we will assemble a Springbok squad that will have three weeks to prepare for the first Lions test and we have to maximise the time we have at our disposal."

South Africa training squad: Andries Bekker, Heinrich Brüssow, Schalk Burger, Jean de Villiers, Jean Deysel, Bismarck Du Plessis, Wian Du Preez, Peter Grant, Adi Jacobs, Ricky Januarie, Ryan Kankowski, Tendai Mtawarira, Johan Muller, Odwa Ndungane, Morgan Newman, Jongi Nokwe, JP Pietersen, Earl Rose, John Smit (capt), Juan Smith, Adriaan Strauss, Steven Sykes, Jano Vermaak


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