Steven Kitshoff(L) and Frans Malherbe(R) at stormers training. PHOTO BRENTON GEACH

Johannesburg - Western Province prop Frans Malherbe has been called up to the Springbok squad ahead of their Rugby Championship match against New Zealand in Dunedin on Saturday.

Bok coach Heyneke Meyer said in a statement on Tuesday that Malherbe, who effectively replaced suspended lock Eben Etzebeth, had been called up as cover.

“Frans' call-up is purely precautionary as our two tighthead props on tour are struggling with injuries,” Meyer said.

“Neither Jannie (du Plessis) nor Pat (Cilliers) trained with us on Tuesday, but we've decided to give them as much time as needed to regain their fitness.

“Frans has been with us before and he knows our calls and moves. “He's still young and has a bright future ahead of him.”

The SA Rugby Union said Malherbe was due to arrive in Auckland on Wednesday evening.

The squad to face New Zealand would also be named on Wednesday.