Du Plessis called into Springboks squad - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Du Plessis called into Springboks squad

14/07/2009 07:26:34 PM Comments (0)

South Africa's selectors brought tighthead prop Jannie du Plessis into the Tri-Nations squad on Tuesday in the only major change to the squad which defeated the British and Irish Lions 2-1.

Du Plessis will cover captain John Smit, and takes the place of Deon Carstens, who was on the bench during the Lions Tests.

Commenting on the return of Du Plessis, selection convener Peter Jooste said in a statement issued by SA Rugby: "Jannie has been a part of the Springbok squad since 2007 and still has much to offer. He was unfortunate to miss out on selection for the Lions series but now gets an opportunity in the Tri-Nations."

Missing from the squad is suspended flanker Schalk Burger, who is serving the remainder of an eight-week ban for eye-gouging, but his understudy Heinrich Brussow was one of the finds of the series against the Lions and will give the Springboks a competitor for loose ball in the mold of New Zealand's Richie McCaw and Australia's George Smith.

Lock Bakkies Botha returns after his two-week ban for dangerous clearing of a ruck, as does fellow-lock Andries Bekker, who returns from a hamstring injury.

Utility forward Danie Rossouw - who covers lock, blindside flank and No.8 - returns after a concussion sustained in a tackle in the second test against the Lions.

There is no place in the squad for utility back Earl Rose, who didn't get any game time in the Lions tests, or for center Wynand Olivier, who was the form inside center in the South African Super 14 sides. Olivier was unimpressive for the Springboks in the third test loss to the Lions.

Scrumhalf Ricky Januarie has been retained however, despite showing an alarming lack of form in the face of pressing claims from a number of other contenders.

"The core squad that secured the series win in the first two tests (against the Lions) has great potential as a unit, and we believe that they have much more to offer," said coach Peter de Villiers. "That is why we have made sure that we have remained consistent in our selection policy."

South Africa: Forwards: Andries Bekker, Bakkies Botha, Heinrich Brussow, Bismarck du Plessis, Jannie du Plessis, Ryan Kankowski, Victor Matfield, Tendai Mtawarira, Chiliboy Ralepelle, Danie Rossouw, John Smit (captain), Juan Smith, Pierre Spies. Backs: Jean de Villiers, Fourie du Preez, Jaque Fourie, Bryan Habana, Adrian Jacobs, Ricky Januarie, Ruan Pienaar, J.P. Pietersen, Francois Steyn, Morne Steyn.

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