29 October 2012, 10:03am
Congratulations to Francois Louw, who has been included in the South Africa squad for their tour of the Northern Hemisphere this Autumn. Louw is one of four European-based players with Ruan Pienaar (Ulster), Schalk Brits (Saracens) and Gurthrö Steenkamp (Toulouse) also being included in the national squad
The Springboks will travel to the Northern Hemisphere next weekend with five uncapped players, but without their all-time leading try-scorer and most experienced player, Bryan Habana.
Habana was the latest key player to be added to a long injury list when he recently sustained a knee injury, with scans confirming he will miss the tour of Ireland, Scotland and England.
Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer has been forced into wholesale changes due to a high number of players unavailable due to injury. In come Under-20 winger Raymond Rhule, Jano Vermaak (scrumhalf), Franco van der Merwe (lock), Arno Botha (flanker) and Lionel Mapoe (wing).
Two Springboks who missed the entire Castle Rugby Championship because of injury, JP Pietersen and Chiliboy Ralepelle, are back in the squad.
"We've got a settled core of players that did the job during the England series and The Castle Rugby Championship and we decided to stick with them," said Meyer.
"Obviously losing so many players to injury, the latest being Coenie (Oosthuizen), Tiaan (Liebenberg), Andries (Bekker), Jacques (Potgieter) and Bryan during the Absa Currie Cup, makes it difficult, but this now provides opportunities for other players."
Meyer said he expected three extremely difficult Tests: "Although the Springboks won on their last visit to Dublin (in 2010), they lost three in a row before that," he said.
"In 2010, we lost to Scotland in Edinburgh. They beat the Wallabies in Australia earlier in the year, so it won't be easy there.
"And in June we've experienced first-hand how difficult an opponent England are. They will be fired up at Twickenham and it will be a challenging Test to end the tour with.
"The Rugby World Cup in 2015 also takes place in England, so we will use this tour to see how our players adapt to the conditions as we look ahead to that very important tournament."
The Springbok squad will assemble in Cape Town on Wednesday and depart to the UK from Johannesburg on Saturday.
The Springbok squad for the Castle Outgoing Tour to Ireland, Scotland and England:
Willem Alberts, Arno Botha, Schalk Brits, Pat Cilliers, Marcell Coetzee, Juan de Jongh, Jean de Villiers (captain), Jannie du Plessis, Eben Etzebeth, Francois Hougaard, Elton Jantjies, Zane Kirchner, Juandré Kruger, Pat Lambie, Francois Louw, Lionel Mapoe, Tendai Mtawarira, Lwazi Mvovo, Ruan Pienaar, JP Pietersen, Chiliboy Ralepelle, Raymond Rhule, Gurthrö Steenkamp, Morné Steyn, Adriaan Strauss, Jaco Taute,CJ van der Linde, Flip van der Merwe, Franco van der Merwe, Jano Vermaak, Duane Vermeulen