Sharks Currie Cup captain Ruan Botha has earned his first Springbok call-up. Photo: Gerhard Duraan/BackpagePix

The Springboks have called up Ruan Botha as replacement for the injured Jean-Luc du Preez, who suffered a fractured ankle in Saturday’s Currie Cup final in Durban.

Botha, the Sharks skipper, will join the Springbok squad on Tuesday afternoon in Johannesburg.

The group assembled on Monday and will use the week in Gauteng to prepare for their month-long Outgoing Tour.

It was decided to bolster the group with another lock as the squad currently has sufficient cover among the loose forwards, according to Springbok coach Allister Coetzee.

“Ruan has played consistently well this year and has been part of our training camps,” said Coetzee.

“He has led the Sharks to the Currie Cup final and the Super Rugby playoffs this season, and is not only a consistently good performer, but also a strong leader.

“Franco Mostert is not available for the Welsh Test as it falls outside the international window, and the tour gives us a good chance to work with Ruan while he also familiarises himself further with the Springbok environment.

“With Pieter-Steph du Toit that can also perform well at flank plus the addition of Oupa Mohoje to the loose forwards, we believe that we have sufficiently cover at blindside flank.”

The Springboks will fly out to Dublin at the end of the week in two groups, for their Tests against Ireland, France, Italy and Wales.

SA Rugby