Johannesburg – Zane Kirchner and Chiliboy Ralepelle have been included in the Springbok squad that travels to Australia and New Zealand for the next two Tests of the Rugby Championship.
The squad of 26 players who returned from Argentina on Monday was retained, with Kirchner (fullback) and Ralepelle (hooker) the only additions.
“This will be two tough weeks on the road against two of the best sides in the world and as we saw last weekend against Argentina, we still have a lot of hard work to do,” said Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer on Wednesday.
“Australia may have lost their first two matches of The Castle Lager Rugby, but they showed a marked improvement last weekend in Wellington.
“They are always a tough opponent at home – the Springboks' last victory over there was in 2009 and we've only won three out of 18 matches in this competition in Australia.”
Ralepelle, the third hooker in the squad, missed the Argentinean tour because of a back injury and will have to pass a fitness test before boarding the plane to Australia on Saturday. A final call on his availability would be made by Friday.
“We get together on Thursday and will have to put in a lot of hard work in the next 10 days,” said Meyer.
“We let ourselves down in certain areas of the game in Mendoza and will have to fix those if we are going to be competitive against Australia.”
The squad of 28 players will depart for Brisbane via Sydney on Saturday afternoon for their Tests against Australia in the Queensland capital on September 7 and New Zealand in Auckland on September 14.
Springbok squad: Forwards (16): Lourens Adriaanse, Willem Alberts, Marcell Coetzee, Bismarck du Plessis, Jannie du Plessis, Eben Etzebeth, Siya Kolisi, Juandre Kruger, Francois Louw, Tendai Mtawarira, Coenie Oosthuizen, Chiliboy Ralepelle, Gurthro Steenkamp, Adriaan Strauss, Flip van der Merwe, Duane Vermeulen. Backs (12): Bjorn Basson, Jean de Villiers (captain), JJ Engelbrecht, Bryan Habana, Zane Kirchner, Patrick Lambie, Willie le Roux, Ruan Pienaar, Jan Serfontein, Morne Steyn, Piet van Zyl, Jano Vermaak. – Sapa