De Villiers keeps cards close to chest

South Africa coach Peter de Villiers already knows his 22-man matchday squad to face Wales in the first Test in Bloemfontein on June 7 - but will not reveal his selection until the last minute. [more]

De Villiers keeps cards close to chest

South Africa coach Peter de Villiers already knows his 22-man matchday squad to face Wales in the first Test in Bloemfontein on June 7 – but will not reveal his selection until the last minute.

De Villiers has been assessing his squad at a training camp in Somerset West, and told reporters this type of get-together would play a significant role in his long-term strategy for the national side.

“This training camp has to set the tone for the next four years,” he said.

“We need to know we can call on these other players.

“I definitely have a good idea about who my starting line-up will be for the first Test.

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“The thing is, we can’t control injuries and other players may be needed.”

De Villiers will cut his squad to 30 ahead of the two-Test series against Six Nations champions Wales.

He added: “Some of the players who don’t make the squad of 30 will go onto the Emerging Boks.

“But they will go to that tournament knowing what we are thinking and we will know that we can call on them if needed.

“The short-term goals start tomorrow, but it’s a long-term plan.”

Meanwhile, South Africa Rugby have confirmed the national team will face Argentina in Johannesburg on August 9.

The two teams will meet in a rematch of the 2007 World Cup semi-final, with the game coming in the middle of the Springboks’ Tri-Nations campaign.

The game at Ellis Park will also form part of the celebration of Nelson Mandela’s 90th birthday.

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