South Africa coach Allister Coetzee has called up four uncapped players for their end-of-year northern hemisphere tour but there is no place in the 33-man squad for Duane Vermeulen.
Vermeulen, the Toulon captain, has been excluded with a press release from the South Africa Rugby Union stating his “conditioning is not up to international standard since his return from injury” while he also plans to journey back to South Africa in November to be with his wife for the birth of their second child.
The Boks are also without Lwazi Mvovo, Juan de Jongh, Francois Hougaard, Francois Louw, Siya Kolisi, Sikhumbuzo Notshe, Frans Malherbe, Julian Redelinghuys and Scarra Ntubeni due to injury.
Coetzee added: “Apart from those players, other experienced campaigners such as Jan Serfontein, Handré Pollard, Cobus Reinach, Marcell Coetzee, Coenie Oosthuizen and Bismarck du Plessis are also not available.”
With a number of absentees, they have turned to uncapped players Bulls back-row Roelof Smit, Sharks flanker Jean-Luc de Preez, Cheetahs centre Francois Venter and his fellow Currie Cup-winning teammate Sergeal Peterson.
Duane Vermeulen will miss South Africa’s end-of-year tour AFP PHOTO / FRANCK FIFE
Alongside their three Tests against England, Italy and Wales, South Africa open with a match against the Barbarians at Wembley. Coetzee has named two squads with a 30-man party focusing on the Barbarians match — complete with 12 uncapped players — before the 33-player group come together to focus on the three Tests.
“We know that playing during winter in the northern hemisphere is always a huge challenge,” Coetzee said. “The conditions are different and it requires an even more physical and tactical battle and all Test matches played in Europe were almost always decided by small margins in the past.
“Yes, we have a long injury list, but we prefer to see it as an amazing opportunity for the players selected in the squad. We are looking forward to turn things around on tour against quality opposition.”
South Africa squad for Barbarians
Lourens Adriaanse, Nizaam Carr, Uzair Cassiem, Lood de Jager, Jean-Luc du Preez, Thomas du Toit, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Eben Etzebeth, Lizo Gqoboka, Malcolm Marx, Bongi Mbonambi, Oupa Mohojé, Tendai Mtawarira, Trevor Nyakane, RG Snyman, Roelof Smit, Adriaan Strauss (captain)
Ruan Combrinck, Damian de Allende, Faf de Klerk, Rohan Janse van Rensburg, Cheslin Kolbe, Jesse Kriel, Pat Lambie, Rudy Paige, Sergeal Petersen, Tian Schoeman, Jamba Ulengo, Piet van Zyl, Francois Venter
South Africa squad for England, Italy, Wales
Willem Alberts, Lood de Jager, Jannie du Plessis, Jean-Luc du Preez, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Eben Etzebeth, Jaco Kriel, Steven Kitshoff, Vincent Koch, Malcolm Marx, Bongi Mbonambi, Franco Mostert, Tendai Mtawarira, Trevor Nyakane, Oupa Mohojé, Roelof Smit, Adrian Strauss (captain), Warren Whiteley.
Ruan Combrinck, Damian de Allende, Faf de Klerk, Johan Goosen, Bryan Habana, Elton Jantjies, Jesse Kriel, Pat Lambie, Willie le Roux, Lionel Mapoe, Rudy Paige, Sergeal Petersen, JP Pietersen, Franciois Venter, Piet van Zyl,
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Boks omit Vermeulen with four uncapped players called up
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