Bismarck du Plessis and Frans Steyn have been included in a 43-man Springbok squad that includes 17 new caps.
The uncapped players are Ox Nche (prop), Thomas du Toit (prop), Akker van der Merwe (hooker), RG Snyman (lock), Marvin Orie (lock), Jason Jenkins (lock), Sikhumbuzo Notshe (loose forward), Kwagga Smith (loose forward), Ivan van Zyl (scrumhalf), Embrose Papier (scrumhalf), Cameron Wright (scrumhalf), Robert du Preez (flyhalf), André Esterhuizen (centre), Sibusiso Nkosi (wing), Aphiwe Dyantyi (wing), Makazole Mapimpi (wing) and Travis Ismaiel (wing).
Bok coach Rassie Erasmus has also included five players from abroad – Du Plessis (hooker), Duane Vermeulen (No 8), Faf de Klerk (scrumhalf), Steyn (centre) and Willie le Roux (fullback).
‘The coaching staff has done a lot of preparation and the players’ contribution in this process, during and after our three camps, has been tremendously positive,’ said Erasmus.
‘We know Wales and England will be very thorough in their analysis and overall preparation and we have to be ready for them. The players know what we expect of them, and that they will have to work very hard in a short space of time to be ready for the Tests against Wales and England.’
Erasmus said several players really impressed him and the national selectors with consistently good performances during the past few months.
‘It’s good to see how our exciting young players have grabbed their opportunities for their franchises in the last couple of months.
‘But we also know how important experience is at Test level, so we thought long and hard about which players to pull in from abroad, and in the end we only settled on five who we thought consistently performed well for their clubs in the tough English and French competitions.
‘I am confident that we have a strong group of players from which we will be able to select a very competitive team for each of the four Test matches in June.’
SA Rugby granted Erasmus special permission to include overseas-based players with fewer than the required 30 Test caps where it was believed there was insufficient depth in South Africa.
Erasmus will make an announcement on the captaincy on Monday.
The Boks begin their season on Saturday, 2 June against Wales in Washington DC. They then return to South Africa to face England in three Tests at Ellis Park (9 June), Free State Stadium (16 June) and Newlands (23 June).
Springbok squad for June Tests:
Forwards – Nizaam Carr (Stormers), Bismarck du Plessis (Montpellier), Dan du Preez (Sharks), Jean-Luc du Preez (Sharks), Pieter-Steph du Toit (Stormers), Thomas du Toit (Sharks), Jason Jenkins (Bulls), Steven Kitshoff (Stormers), Siya Kolisi (Stormers), Wilco Louw (Stormers), Frans Malherbe (Stormers), Bongi Mbonambi (Stormers), Oupa Mohoje (Cheetahs), Franco Mostert (Lions), Tendai Mtawarira (Sharks), Ox Nche (Cheetahs), Sikhumbuzo Notshe (Stormers), Trevor Nyakane (Bulls), Marvin Orie (Lions), Chiliboy Ralepelle (Sharks), Kwagga Smith (Lions), RG Snyman (Bulls), Akker van der Merwe (Sharks), Duane Vermeulen (Toulon).
Backs – Lukhanyo Am (Sharks), Curwin Bosch (Sharks), Damian de Allende (Stormers), Faf de Klerk (Sale Sharks), Robert du Preez (Sharks), Aphiwe Dyantyi (Lions), André Esterhuizen (Sharks), Warrick Gelant (Bulls), Travis Ismaiel (Bulls), Elton Jantjies (Lions), Jesse Kriel (Bulls), Willie le Roux (Wasps), Makazole Mapimpi (Sharks), Sibusiso Nkosi (Sharks), Embrose Papier (Bulls), Handré Pollard (Bulls), Frans Steyn (Montpellier), Ivan van Zyl (Bulls), Cameron Wright (Sharks).
Photo: Sylvain Thomas/AFP Photo
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