Boks call up Du Toit, Serfontein

2013-04-10 00:00

TWO Baby Boks, Sharks lock Pieter-Steph du Toit and Bulls centre Jan Serfontein, have been included in the Springbok squad ahead of the Incoming Test series in June.

The 20-year-old Du Toit and Serfontein played in the South African side that won the Junior World Cup last year.

Serfontein, a powerful, 97 kg centre who turns 20 next week, was named the IRB player of the tournament.

Coach Heyneke Meyer has named only one other new face in his 36-man training in the in-form, 24-year-old Cheetahs centre Robert Ebersohn.

The first of two planned national training camps will be held in Cape Town from Sunday to Tuesday.

“With minimal time to prepare for the series involving Italy, Scotland and Samoa, we have approached the franchises to ask for their assistance with these two training camps,” said Meyer.

“It’s important to keep continuity and it was very difficult to select only 36 players.

“There have been a number of new faces that have put up their hands this year, such as Pieter-Steph du Toit, Jan Serfontein and Robert Ebersohn, while we also have a high number of players out with injuries, but who will be available for the Tests in June,” the coach said.

The talented Bulls flyhalf Handré Pollard, who also excelled for the Junior Boks in 2012, has been released to the SA U20 squad for the tour to Argentina.

Meyer has not invited overseas-based Boks such as Francois Louw and Ruan Pienaar, while lock Andries Bekker, who has signed to play club rugby in Japan after Super Rugby, and the injured Jaco Taute were not considered.

Three other Springboks heading overseas later in the year, Bryan Habana, Morné Steyn and Juandré Kruger, have been included and, like Pienaar and Louw, will be available for the June Tests.

Meyer said there had been close liaison with the Super Rugby coaches and Kings players currently touring overseas would be in contention for the second camp.

Pat Lambie, Morné Steyn and Elton Jantjies are the three flyhalves in the squad, while an optiimistic Meyer has also included Sharks hooker Bismarck du Plessis, who has played no rugby for nearly nine months, and the sadly out-of-form Frans Steyn.

Ryan Kankowski, Arno Botha and Siya Kolisi are preferred to Keegan Daniel, the in-form Cheetahs flank Lappies Labuschagne and his team-mate Heinrich Brüssow in the backrow.

Players invited to the first Springbok training camp of 2013:

Forwards: Tendai Mtawarira, Jannie du Plessis, Frans Malherbe, Coenie Oosthuizen, Pat Cilliers, Adriaan Strauss, Bismarck du Plessis, Chiliboy Ralepelle, Eben Etzebeth, Flip van der Merwe, Juandré Kruger, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Franco van der Merwe, Siya Kolisi, Marcell Coetzee, Willem Alberts, Arno Botha, Duane Vermeulen, Pierre Spies, Ryan Kankowski.

Backs: Jano Vermaak, Francois Hougaard, Pat Lambie, Morné Steyn, Elton Jantjies, Jean de Villiers, Frans Steyn, Juan de Jongh, Jan Serfontein, Robert Ebersohn, Bryan Habana, Lwazi Mvovo, Raymond Rhule, JP Pietersen, Bjorn Basson, Zane Kirchner.

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