Matfield, Burger back for Boks

  • Last Updated: May 19 2014, 12:52 BST

Victor Matfield and Schalk Burger have been included in South Africa's training squad ahead of their summer international series.

Schalk Burger: Back in Springboks squad for first time since 2011
Schalk Burger: Back in Springboks squad for first time since 2011

Matfield, Burger and Cheetahs flanker Heinrich Brussow have not featured for the Springboks since the 2011 World Cup but have been called up by Heyneke Meyer with a number of star players unavailable or sidelined by injury.

Eight uncapped players have also been included in Meyer's 36-man squad who will attend a training camp in Durban from May 25-28.

The squad is mainly derived from players based in South Africa, with those plying their trade in France, England and Ireland not considered because of their club commitments.

As well as that Scarra Ntubeni, Chiliboy Ralepelle, Frik Kirsten, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Franco van der Merwe, Arno Botha, Pierre Spies, Louis Schreuder, Pat Lambie, Gio Aplon and Jaque Fourie are out through injury.

Meyer said: "Victor and Schalk have been out of rugby for a long time. They've really been in great form recently and the fact that they have not been with the Boks for more than two years, has made them hungry for Test rugby yet again.

"It's great to welcome them back into the Springbok fold and I know both of them can still add a lot of value to the team with the Rugby World Cup in 2015 looming.

"I'm also looking forward to working with Heinrich for the first time. He's been playing very well for the Toyota Cheetahs since returning from injury and brings a lot of experience.

"However, the message to every player in this training squad is clear - everyone must accelerate in each area from the first moment we are together as a team and that inclusion in this squad is no guarantee of selection.

"This is a very big year for us and the players know they will have to step up a gear, be sharp and focused from the moment we get going in Durban.

"We have 14 very challenging matches ahead in 2014 and it's imperative that we build on what was a good season last year.

"It's important that we start building continuity because there are just 18 matches left until the Rugby World Cup starts.

"But it's just as important to recognise continuous good form. We also have a number of players struggling with injury niggles or returning from injury which we have to assess."

Forwards: Tendai Mtawarira, Trevor Nyakane, Marcel van der Merwe, Jannie du Plessis, Frans Malherbe, Coenie Oosthuizen, Bismarck du Plessis, Adriaan Strauss, Eben Etzebeth, Lood de Jager, Victor Matfield, Flip van der Merwe, Heinrich Brüssow, Marcell Coetzee, Siya Kolisi, Willem Alberts, Jacques du Plessis, Teboho Mohoje, Duane Vermeulen, Schalk Burger.

Backs: Fourie du Preez, Francois Hougaard, Johan Goosen, Marnitz Boshoff, Jean de Villiers, Damian De Allende, Jan Serfontein, Juan de Jongh, JJ Engelbrecht, S'bura Sithole, Frans Steyn, Lwazi Mvovo, Bjorn Basson, JP Pietersen, Cornal Hendricks, Willie le Roux.


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