Warren Whiteley named Bok captain, Frans Steyn is back

Warren Whiteley. Picture: REUTERS
Warren Whiteley. Picture: REUTERS

Warren Whiteley has been named Springbok captain for 2017‚ with Frans Steyn receiving a recall.

Bok coach Allister Coetzee’s 31-man squad‚ named on Tuesday‚ included eight uncapped players to face France in three tests next month.

There were recalls for Steyn‚ Jan Serfontein‚ Francois Hougaard‚ Duane Vermeulen‚ Coenie Oosthuizen and Chiliboy Ralepelle‚ who have more than 200 test caps of experience between them.

Steyn‚ who plays for French side Montpellier and was a member of the 2007 Rugby World Cup winning squad‚ last featured in a Springbok test in 2012‚ while Ralepelle is back in the Bok squad after four years — his last inclusion was in 2013.

Serfontein was injured and missed the entire 2016 season‚ while Oosthuizen‚ who played in 23 tests between 2012 and 2015‚ is also back in the squad having fully recovered from his injuries.

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Vermeulen featured in only two tests in 2016 before suffering an injury during the home series against Ireland‚ while Hougaard returns after missing the Castle Lager Outgoing Tour to the United Kingdom and Italy at the end of 2016 due to injury.

Of the eight uncapped players in the squad‚ six are backs and two play in the forwards.

They are Lukhanyo Am‚ Andries Coetzee‚ Ross Cronje‚ Dillyn Leyds‚ Raymond Rhule‚ Courtnall Skosan‚ Ruan Dreyer and Lizo Gqoboka.

Four of these‚ Rhule‚ Cronje‚ Dreyer and Gqoboka have previously toured with the Boks‚ but are yet to play in a test match for South Africa.

The Bok squad will assemble on Monday for a week-long camp in Plettenberg Bay before moving camp to Pretoria where they will fine-tune final preparations for the first test at Loftus on June 10.

Tiso Black Star Group/Tiso Black Star Group Sport

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