Francois Louw, seen here in action against the All Blacks at Newlands last year, started at No 8 in that Test. Photo: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

CAPE TOWN – England-based loose forward Francois Louw has rejoined the Springbok squad for Saturday’s Test against the All Blacks in Pretoria.

Louw was not named as part of the group for the home leg of the Rugby Championship, and missed last weekend’s 23-12 win over the Wallabies in Port Elizabeth.

With Warren Whiteley ruled out with a groin problem that he picked up during training last week, Sikhumbuzo Notshe started at No 8 at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.

Whiteley was expected to be ready to take on the All Blacks at Loftus Versfeld, but Bok assistant coach Matt Proudfoot confirmed at a press conference on Monday that they are still waiting to see if the Lions captain will be fit to play.

Later on Monday, SA Rugby announced via their @Springboks Twitter account that Louw has now been called up after he featured for his club Bath at the weekend.

The 33-year-old former Stormers stalwart rejoined the squad in time for Monday’s training session, which indicates the urgency of the situation with Whiteley.

While Bok coach Rassie Erasmus was pleased with Notshe’s performance against Australia, he may opt for the experienced Louw at No 8 against New Zealand.

Louw started at the back of the scrum in last year’s 25-24 to the All Blacks at Newlands, and Erasmus has mentioned previously that he was option at No 8.

He played off the bench in the epic 36-34 victory in Wellington, and replaced captain Siya Kolisi at openside flank after 66 minutes.

The All Blacks received a boost in that position for this weekend’s game, with captain Kieran Read available again after being rested for the 35-17 victory over Argentina in Buenos Aires.

Read welcomed the Kiwis at the OR Tambo Airport in Johannesburg on Monday.



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