Springboks look to Schalk Burger for more bite

2014-09-17 15:34

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Former World Rugby Player of the Year Schalk Burger was recalled to South Africa’s squad for the Rugby Championship tests against Australia and New Zealand in place of injured Francois Louw, the South African Rugby Union said.

Burger has been playing in Japan, where he has a club match on Friday after which he will join up with the Springbok squad in Cape Town, preparing to face Australia on September 27 and a final game with New Zealand in Johannesburg on October 4.

Burger returned to the national fold in June after almost two years out with injury and illness. He came off the bench to face Wales in two tests and started versus Scotland but missed the first four Rugby Championship tests due to club commitments.

“With Willem Alberts still out injured, Schalk’s versatility helps as he can cover any position in the loose trio,” Springboks coach Heyneke Meyer said today.

“He is also very experienced, brings leadership qualities and has been with us so he will slot back in easily.

“Schalk played a superb role in June mentoring the younger players in the squad, and he’ll be able to carry on with that especially with players such as Warren Whiteley and Oupa Mohoje, who has shown massive improvement after only playing in a handful of Super Rugby matches and making his test debut earlier this season.”

The 31-year-old Burger has 71 caps and was named the best player in world rugby 10 years ago.

Yesterday, Louw was ruled out of the tests against Australia and New Zealand with a pinched nerve in his neck.

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