Monday, 1 June 2009

Springbok squad announced for the Lions series

Springbok emblemAs expected, the flyhalf of the Super 14 champions (Bulls), Morné Steyn, has been included in the squad to cover for incumbent Ruan Pienaar, in case of injury. He is the only new Springbok announced, apart from Earl Rose who has been selected before, but never played.

Wynand Olivier is a great example of a player who was selected for the Boks before, dropped due to mediocre performances and then re-ignited his career with a superb Super 14 season.

25 players of the 28-man Springbok squad selected have been retained from the squad that toured Wales, Scotland and England in November 2008. The Bulls and Sharks provided the bulk of the squad with 10 players each.

Incumbent Springbok fullback, Conrad Jantjes, broke his leg earlier in the season. Some say centre Jaque Fourie is expected to move to fullback as cover. Even though I understand the move since he's such a talented player, I'm disappointed that we may not see South Africa's top centre pairing of Jean De Villiers/Jaque Fourie face the British & Irish Lions. If Pienaar is selected at flyhalf, you must have Frans Steyn at fullback with his big boot.

Springboks squad for the British & Irish Lions tour
(20, 27 June & 4 July)

Forwards - Andries Bekker, Schalk Burger, Bismarck Du Plessis, Ryan Kankowski, Tendai Mtawarira, John Smit (c), Juan Smith, Pierre Spies, Victor Matfield, Bakkies (v/c), Bakkies Botha, Gurthrö Steenkamp, Deon Carstens.

Backs - Jean de Villiers, Fourie du Preez, Jacque Fourie, Bryan Habana, Adrian Jacobs, Ricky Januarie, Odwa Ndungane, Jongi Nokwe, Wynand Olivier, Ruan Pienaar, JP Pietersen, Earl Rose, Morne Steyn.

Emerging Springboks to face the Lions
(23 June)

Backs - Heini Adams, Bjorn Basson, Burton Francis, Zane Kirchner, Louis Ludik, Morgan Newman, Earl Rose, Deon van Rensburg, Jano Vermaak, Luzuko Vulindlu.

Forwards - Jacques Botes, Jean Deysel, Wian du Preez, Werner Kruger, Tiaan Liebenberg, Bandise Maku, Dewald Pretorius, Wihelm Steenkamp, Steven Sykes, Franco van der Merwe, Duane Vermuelen.

Full tour schedule - Springboks vs British and Irish Lions 2009


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