Steyn drafted into Springboks squad
June 1, 2009
Bulls fly-half Morne Steyn is in line for his first Springboks cap after getting the nod from coach Peter de Villiers © Getty Images
South Africa coach Peter de Villiers has named his squad to face the British & Irish Lions in their three-Test series.
Bulls fly-half Morne Steyn is the only new face in the squad that also sees the return of Sharks prop Deon Carstens and Bulls centre Wynand Olivier who have not played for the Springboks since 2007.
"Morne Steyn earned his spot by performing week in, week out - he had an outstanding Super 14," said De Villiers at the squad announcement in Johannesburg.
Uncapped Lions fly-half Earl Rose is also included in the group having toured with the Springboks in 2008. Sharks fly-half Ruan Pienaar and utility back Frans Steyn are also included in the group having recovered from injury while John Smit retains the captaincy.
The squad includes ten players from the Bulls squad that claimed this year's Super 14 crown including winger Bryan Habana, No.8 Pierre Spies and scrum-half Fourie du Preez but no recognised fullback with Conrad Jantjes out injured.
However, De Villiers is confident he has enough talent at his disposal to cover that position. "We have a number of options at fullback and it will be a matter of looking at combinations in the next couple of weeks," he said. "JP Pietersen has played there, so has Frans Steyn and Earl Rose hasn't done badly in the position. Even Morne Steyn can play there if called upon. The deciding factor will be the style of rugby we want to play."
The Springboks will face the British & Irish Lions in Durban on June 20, Pretoria on June 27 and Johannesburg on 4 July.
The Emerging Springboks squad was also announced ahead of their clash with the elite tourists in Cape Town on June 23. Springboks assistant coach Dick Muir will coach the team while Bulls flanker Dewald Poitgieter has been named as captain. No players with previous international honours with the Springboks was considered for selection.
Most of the 22-man squad comes from the recently-crowned Super 14 champions, the Bulls, who have seven representatives, while there are five players from the Sharks. Golden Lions fullback Earl Rose, who was also named in the full Springbok squad but is yet to be capped, is the only player to be named in both teams.
South Africa coach Peter de Villiers said, "It's a very talented side and we look forward to them making the step up. It shows the depth of rugby talent in this country and I am sure they will do us proud.
"We expect that some of these names will be there in 2011 (for the World Cup), so I believe they will definitely give the Lions their money's worth."
South Africa squad:
Forwards: John Smit - Sharks (81) - Captain, Victor Matfield -Blue Bulls (80) -Vice-Captain, Andries Bekker - Western Province (13), Bakkies Botha -Blue Bulls (55), Schalk Burger - Western Province (49), Deon Carstens -Sharks (7), Bismarck du Plessis - Sharks (21), Ryan Kankowski - Sharks (7), Tendai Mtawarira - Sharks (10), Chiliboy Ralepelle - Blue Bulls (3), Danie Rossouw - Blue Bulls (36), Juan Smith - Cheetahs (54), Pierre Spies - Blue Bulls (19), Gurthrö Steenkamp - Blue Bulls
Backs: Jean de Villiers - Western Province (46), Fourie du Preez - Blue Bulls (43), Jaque Fourie - Lions (42), Bryan Habana - Blue Bulls (46), Adi Jacobs - Sharks (21), Ricky Januarie - Western Province (34), Odwa Ndungane - Sharks (3), Jongi Nokwe - Cheetahs (3), Wynand Olivier - Blue Bulls (21), Ruan Pienaar - Sharks (27), JP Pietersen - Sharks (24), Earl Rose - Lions (uncapped), Frans Steyn - Sharks (27), Morné Steyn - Blue Bulls (uncapped).
Emerging Springboks squad:
Forwards: Jacques Botes - Sharks, Jean Deysel - Sharks, Wian du Preez - Cheetahs, Werner Kruger - Blue Bulls, Patrick Cilliers - Sharks, Tiaan Liebenberg - Western Province, Bandisa Maku - Blue Bulls, Dewald Potgieter - Blue Bulls - Captain, Wilhelm Steenkamp - Blue Bulls, Steven Sykes - Sharks, Franco van der Merwe - Lions, Duane Vermeulen - Western Province
Backs: Heini Adams - Blue Bulls, Bjorn Basson - Griquas, Burton Francis - Blue Bulls, Zane Kirchner - Blue Bulls, Louis Ludik - Lions, Morgan Newman -Western Province, Earl Rose - Lions, Deon van Rensburg - Leopards, Jano Vermaak - Lions, Luzuko Vulindlu - Sharks