Versatile Deon Fourie cracks nod as hooker cover in Bok squad

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Stormers ace Deon Fourie's versatility has landed him a spot in the Springbok squad for their Rugby Championship tour to Australia

The Boks will tackle the Wallabies in Adelaide on 27 August and Sydney on 3 September.

The Boks confirmed on Monday that hooker Bongi Mbonambi would not tour with the team as he's been ruled out for four weeks with a knee injury.

Malcolm Marx and Joseph Dweba are the two frontline hookers in the 34-man squad, but Fourie will be called upon there if need be.

Fourie was a star flanker for the Stormers in their victorious United Rugby Championship campaign. It saw him make his Test debut at the age of 35 against Wales.

However, Fourie started his career at hooker and he may be called to slot in there against the Wallabies.

"Bongi has been ruled out for four weeks, but Deon, who is an experienced hooker and flank, has been practicing his lineout throws with us, so we are confident that he will be able to fill that void for us in these matches," Nienaber said after naming his squad on Monday.

Springbok touring squad:

Props: Steven Kitshoff (Stormers), Vincent Koch (Wasps), Frans Malherbe (Stormers), Ox Nche (Sharks), Trevor Nyakane (Racing 92)

Hookers: Joseph Dweba (Stormers), Malcolm Marx (Kubota Spears)

Locks: Eben Etzebeth (Sharks), Lood de Jager (Wild Knights), Salmaan Moerat (Stormers)

Loose forwards: Pieter-Steph du Toit (Toyota Verblitz), Siya Kolisi (Sharks), Elrigh Louw (Bulls), Kwagga Smith (Shizuoka Blue Revs), Jasper Wiese (Leicester Tigers), Duane Vermeulen (Ulster)

Utility forwards: Deon Fourie (Stormers), Franco Mostert (Honda Heat)

Scrumhalves: Faf de Klerk (Canon Eagles), Jaden Hendrikse (Sharks), Herschel Jantjies ( Stormers), Cobus Reinach (Montpellier)

Flyhalves: Elton Jantjies (NTT Docomo Red Hurricanes), Handre Pollard (Leicester Tigers)

Midfielders: Lukhanyo Am (Sharks), Damian de Allende (Wild Knights), Andre Esterhuizen (Harlequins)

Outside backs: Makazole Mapimpi (Sharks), Willie le Roux (Toyota Verblitz), Canan Moodie (Bulls), Warrick Gelant (Racing 92)

Utility Backs: Damian Willemse (Stormers), Jesse Kriel (Canon Eagles), Frans Steyn (Cheetahs)

Elsewhere, Nienaber named a settled squad with only Bulls teenager Canan Moodie not boasting Test experience.

Moodie was called up to the squad as utility back cover following the suspension of Kurt-Lee Arendse. The 19-year-old will provide cover at wing and fullback.

The Bulls young gun's presence also fills the void left by Cheslin Kolbe, who is on the road to recovery from a broken jaw. Bok management said Kolbe would only return for the final Rugby Championship Test against Argentina.

"We are also excited to see how Canan slots in during the next few weeks and to see how he adapts to our structures and systems, and we believe he has the skills to slot in for Kurt-Lee and Cheslin," Nienaber said.

"This is a settled group of players and includes a wide spread of experience and young players who have made their presence felt, and we believe that they have what it takes to guide us back on track in the Rugby Championship in the matches against Australia."


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