Johannesburg – The Springboks have released five players to play for their overseas clubs following the team's 22-17 victory over Argentina in Mendoza over the weekend, the SA Rugby Union announced on Monday.
“Following requests from four French clubs to the South African Rugby Union (Saru), it was decided to release five players to their clubs this weekend,” Saru said in a statement.
“They are Morne Steyn (Stade Francais), Bryan Habana (Toulon), Juandre Kruger (Racing Metro), Gurthro Steenkamp and Jano Vermaak (both Toulouse).”
The team would enjoy a break of three days before getting together in Johannesburg on Thursday afternoon.
Saru chief executive Jurie Roux said the five players would join the rest of the squad in Brisbane on Monday, if selected.
“This is a unique situation and a once-off concession to these four French clubs,” Roux said.
“Although we could’ve opted to keep them with the squad to prepare for the Australasian leg, we decided to adhere to their requests to allow them to return to their clubs for matches this weekend.”
The Springboks were scheduled to depart for Australia on Saturday for their next two matches in the Rugby Championship, against Australia in Brisbane and New Zealand in Auckland on September 7 and 14, respectively.
The touring squad of 28 players would be named on Wednesday. – Sapa