Steyn, Pienaar, Butch called up

2011-06-09 00:00

THREE former Sharks — Ruan Pienaar, Frans Steyn and Butch James — and the in-form Cheetahs backrower Ashley Johnson were yesterday drafted into the 37-man Springbok training squad.

The national planning camp will be held in Durban on Sunday and Monday. The first camp, attended by 51 players, was held in Cape Town in mid-May.

The Springbok selectors have made a number of significant changes, with 18 players chopped from the squad.

Among those discarded are five Sharks in Keegan Daniel, Alistair Hargreaves, Ryan Kankowski, Charl McLeod and Adi Jacobs.

Among the others omitted are scrumhalf Ricky Januarie, record try-scorer Bjorn Basson and experienced prop C.J. van der Linde.

While James, Pienaar and Steyn join the squad after playing for overseas clubs, Northampton prop Brian Mujati, considered one of the most effective tightheads in European rugby, and Saracens hooker Schalk Britz have been overlooked.

Other surprise omissions are two blossoming Cheetahs, scrumhalf Sarel Pretorius and fullback Riaan Viljoen.

The other players culled from the initial squad are Peter Grant, Elton Jantjies, Zane Kirchner, Francois Louw, Bandise Maku, Lionel Mapoe, Waylon Murray, Dewaldt Potgieter, Sarel Pretorius and Deon Stegmann.

Cheetahs flank Juan Smith, in a race to regain full fitness after tearing his Achilles’ tendon, was among those named.

De Villiers said the door is not closed on players excluded from this second of three planning sessions.

“The fact that a player may not have been included in this group does not mean he is out of the running for the international season by any means.

“The first session was designed to get an expanded group onto the same page and this reduced group with senior players, and one or two newcomers, is designed to go into more detail.”

The nine Sharks in the squad are wings Odwa Ndungane, Lwazi Mvovo and JP Pietersen, flyhalf Pat Lambie, flank Willem Alberts and front-rowers John Smit (captain) Jannie du Plessis, Beast Mtawarira and Bismarck du Plessis.

Bok squad:

John Smit (c), Victor Matfield (v/c), Willem Alberts, Gio Aplon, Andries Bekker, Bakkies Botha, Heinrich Brüssow, Schalk Burger, Juan de Jongh, Jean de Villiers, Bismarck du Plessis, Jannie du Plessis, Fourie du Preez, Jaque Fourie, Bryan Habana, Francois Hougaard, Butch James, Ashley Johnson, Werner Kruger, Pat Lambie, Tendai Mtawarira, Lwazi Mvovo, Odwa Ndungane, Wynand Olivier, Coenie Oosthuizen, Ruan Pienaar, JP Pietersen, Chiliboy Ralepelle, Danie Rossouw, Juan Smith, Pierre Spies, Gurthrö Steenkamp, Francois Steyn, Morné Steyn, Adriaan Strauss, Flip van der Merwe and Duane Vermeulen

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