De Villiers adds Sharks to squad

New Springboks coach Pieter de Villiers has called up no fewer than 11 Sharks players into his training squad. [more]

De Villiers adds Sharks to squad

New Springboks coach Pieter de Villiers has called up no fewer than 11 Sharks players into his training squad.

The Sharks, who will meet the 2009 British & Irish Lions in Durban, were beaten in last weekend’s Super 14 final by the NSW Waratahs, enabling de Villiers to add their players to his squad to face Wales next month a week earlier than they had hoped.

The introduction of the 11 – BJ Botha, Bismark du Plessis, Adi Jacobs, Ryan Kankowski, JP Pietersen, Tendai Mtawarira, Johann Muller, Waylon Murray, Ruan Pienaar, Francois Steyn and Akona Ndungane – takes to 47 the training squad. It is set to be cut to 30 on Wednesday ahead of next week’s Prince William Cup clash with Wales.

De Villiers will be happy to have the extra time to work with a full complement of players because he will be missing a few star names for the matches against the Grand Slam champions.

Former IRB World Player of the Year Schalk  Burger, scrum half Fourie du Preez, full back Zane Kirchner, No 8 Dannie Vermeulen and utility back Jacque Fourie will all miss the two tests against Wales, while Saracens bound flanker Wikus van Heerden and scrum half Heini Adams have both been ruled out of at least the first Test.

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However, Stormers flyer Tonderai Chavhanga is on the mend after a hamstring injury and looks set to be available for the first-Test against the Welsh in what is being seen as the first throw of the dice in the build up to next year’s Lions tour.

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