South Africa v New Zealand, Port Elizabeth, August 20
Johnson added to Boks squad
August 16, 2011
Johnson will prove cover along the back-row © Getty Images
The Springboks have added Ashley Johnson to their squad to take on the All Blacks on Saturday.
Johnson's arrival saw fellow Cheetahs and Boks team-mate Juan Smith go in the opposite direction with the star flanker set to line up for Free State on Saturday against the Pumas. Johnson was originally called up to the Boks squad for the Tri-Nations clash with Australia but was subsequently released back to his Currie Cup side.
Johnson's recall to the Boks side continues a remarkable year for the No.8. Johnson only made his debut for the Springboks last month in Sydney but he is still very much in the World Cup mix. With Heinrich Brussow lacking match fitness after sitting out the majority of the last year, Johnson can cover across the back-row if required.
Meanwhile Springboks coach Peter de Villiers has taken a swipe at the South African media following their criticism of his decision to rest 21 players for the away leg of the Tri-Nations. South Africa's opponents on Saturday - the All Blacks - have decided to rest a host of well known names for the clash as Graham Henry aims to ensure his side go into the World Cup in peak fitness.
And de Villiers has accused the South African media of double standards. "Well our South African media seem to be happy with the All Blacks sending out a so-called B team, to them it is no big thing," De Villiers told Sport24.
"But when we went over there it was big news, it was as if people wanted to kill us." It was reiterated how stupid we are as a coaching staff, but now New Zealand do the same and it is fine."
"People back here don't seem concerned about that, and that is more worrying to me than the side the All Blacks have brought to South Africa."
© ESPN EMEA Ltd
"If there was a cross breed of canine called an Underdogdoodle it would win best in show at Crufts." Mark Durden-Smith looks at the Aviva Premiership Final
With the Lions' tour to Australia fast-approaching, ESPN's Austin Healey and Mark Durden-Smith sat down to share their memories of the 2001 trip Down Under
Ask John answers questions on the Leopards' tour to Italy in 1974, brotherly Test sides, Pat McGrath, England's games against the Barbarians and Jacques Brunel
"We were only five metres away in the last Test of getting that try and with Jonny's inevitable conversion, we'd have won it." Tom Hamilton talks to Lions fullback Matt Perry