Coetzee calls on rookies to seize chance

Allister Coetzee (Gallo Images)
Allister Coetzee (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Prop Jannie du Plessis has been recalled, flyhalf Morne Steyn axed and four uncapped players included by South Africa for November Tests in England, Italy and Wales. 

The Springboks will face the Barbarians in an exhibition match at Wembley Stadium in London on November 5 with an all-local squad before the internationals because foreign-based stars are unavailable.

Veteran 2007 Rugby World Cup-winning tighthead du Plessis is called up for the first time this season due to an injury crisis with Frans Malherbe and Julian Redelinghuys ruled out.

The Montpellier forward will compete with Vincent Koch of Saracens for the No 3 green and gold shirt against England at Twickenham on November 12.

Steyn, another long-serving Springbok, is dropped despite scoring all 33 points in a win over Australia and a thrashing from New Zealand in home Rugby Championship Tests this month.

Although a prolific points scorer, pundits consider unimaginative Steyn unsuitable for the more expansive, ball-in-hand approach coach Allister Coetzee wants to pursue.

Fly-half options for the Tests include Elton Jantjies, dropped for the previous two Tests after a string of poor performances, and utility backs Patrick Lambie and Johan Goosen.

Lambie and Goosen have lined up at fullback this season for South Africa as has Willie le Roux, with none excelling in a dismal season so far of four wins and five losses.

The uncapped quartet are flankers Roelof Smit and Jean-Luc du Preez, wing Sergeal Petersen and centre Francois Venter.

Try-scorer Petersen and Venter were part of the Free State Cheetahs team that won the Currie Cup on Saturday for the first time since 2007 with a 20-point triumph over Blue Bulls.

Smit was part of the Bulls team and du Preez of the Sharks is a son of former Springboks scrumhalf Robert.

Four of the team humiliated 57-15 by the All Blacks in Durban two weekends ago were not included - Steyn and wing Francois Hougaard, centre Juan de Jongh and flank Francois Louw, who are injured.

"We know that playing during winter in the northern hemisphere is always a huge challenge," said Coetzee.

"The conditions are different and it requires an even more physical and tactical battle.

"The match against the Barbarians is a great occasion for our young, exciting players to show that they belong at the highest level.

"It is an opportunity to show their class and to gain experience of international rugby.

"My message to them would be to make it impossible for me to ignore them for future selections and to embrace this well-deserved opportunity."

South Africa squad versus Barbarians:

Forwards (17)

Lourens Adriaanse, Nizaam Carr, Uzair Cassiem, Eben Etzebeth, Lizo Gqoboka, Lood de Jager, Malcolm Marx, Bongi Mbonambi, Oupa Mohoje, Tendai Mtawarira, Trevor Nyakane, Jean-Luc du Preez, Roelof Smit, RG Snyman, Adriaan Strauss (captain), Pieter-Steph du Toit, Thomas du Toit

Backs (13)

Damian de Allende, Ruan Combrinck, Faf de Klerk, Cheslin Kolbe, Jesse Kriel, Patrick Lambie, Rudy Paige, Sergeal Petersen, Rohan Janse van Rensburg, Tian Schoeman, Jamba Ulengo, Francois Venter, Piet van Zyl

Note: No foreign-based players available for Barbarians match

South Africa squad versus England, Italy and Wales

Forwards (18)

Willem Alberts, Eben Etzebeth, Lood de Jager, Steven Kitshoff, Vincent Koch, Jaco Kriel, Malcolm Marx, Bongi Mbonambi, Oupa Mohoje, Franco Mostert, Tendai Mtawarira, Trevor Nyakane, Jannie du Plessis, Jean-Luc du Preez, Roelof Smit, Adriaan Strauss (captain), Pieter-Steph du Toit, Warren Whiteley

Backs (15)

Damian de Allende, Ruan Combrinck, Faf de Klerk, Johan Goosen, Bryan Habana, Elton Jantjies, Jesse Kriel, Patrick Lambie, Lionel Mapoe, Rudy Paige, Sergeal Petersen, JP Pietersen, Willie le Roux, Francois Venter, Piet van Zyl

Note: South Africa play the Barbarians at Wembley Stadium in London on November 5, England at Twickenham in London on November 12, Italy in Florence on November 19 and Wales in Cardiff on November 26.

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