Springboks name squad to face British & Irish Lions

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South Africa's Siya Kolisi (centre) lifts the trophy as South Africa win the 2019 Rugby World Cup final match at Yokohama Stadium. (Photo by David Davies/PA Images via Getty Images)

The Springboks named a 46-man squad which will play a three-Test series against the British and Irish Lions in July and August.

The squad includes the entire 2019 Rugby World Cup-winning squad with the exception of Tendai Mtawarira, Francois Louw and Schalk Brits, who all retired, and Warrick Gelant, who is injured.

FILE PHOTO: South Africa’s Siya Kolisi (centre) lifts the trophy as South Africa win the 2019 Rugby World Cup final match at Yokohama Stadium. (Photo by David Davies/PA Images via Getty Images)

The squad also has eight uncapped players including Springbok Sevens finisher Rosko Specman and Cell C Sharks fullback Aphelele Fassi.

The other six players are: Joseph Dweba (hooker), Nicolaas Janse van Rensburg (lock), Jasper Wiese (loose forward), Sanele Nohamba (scrumhalf), Wandisile Simelane (centre) and Yaw Penxe (wing).

36-year-old fly-half Morne Steyn, who won the last of his 66 test caps in 2016, leads a list of 10 players who will make a welcome return to the South African squad.

Steyn has delivered some impressive performances for local franchise the Vodacom Bulls and famously kicked the penalty goal that clinched the series win against the Lions in 2009.

Springboks head coach Jacques Nienabar described Steyn as the most consistent fly-half since domestic rugby returned in November after being interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Centre Frans Steyn, a two-time World Cup winner, will also be in line to have the honour of facing the Lions twice following his involvement in 2009.

“Players such as Frans and Morné have been here before and they can attest to the huge privilege it is to be part of a British & Irish Lions tour, so I am very excited for this squad,” Nienaber said.

“A huge challenge lies ahead, and the fact that we will be taking on this task after a 20-month absence from international rugby means we need to hit the ground running,” he added.

The World champions are scheduled to play Georgia on July 2 and 9 before facing off against the British & Irish Lions on July 24 and 31, and August 7 in three Tests.

The South Africa “A” team, which will include players from this squad, will also meet the Lions on July 14.

The squad will be trimmed following the encounter between the South Africa ‘A’ team and British & Irish Lions.

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