Knocking on Bok door: Warrick Gelant’s fine form during the Currie Cup has been rewarded with a first call-up to the Springbok squad. Picture: GALLO IMAGES
Knocking on Bok door: Warrick Gelant’s fine form during the Currie Cup has been rewarded with a first call-up to the Springbok squad. Picture: GALLO IMAGES

Sharks centre Lukhanyo Am and Bulls fullback Warrick Gelant were two new additions to the Springbok squad named on Sunday for the end-of-year tour.

Coach Allister Coetzee doggedly stuck to the squad that finished third in the Rugby Championship after winning just two of its six games.

Eben Etzebeth will captain the side on the four-Test tour‚ during which the Boks will play Ireland‚ France‚ Italy and Wales.

Am‚ originally named in the Bok squad for the June series against France before injury sidelined him‚ is deservedly given another chance, while Gelant is rewarded for a fine Currie Cup campaign.

The selection of the duo will put immediate pressure on incumbent fullback Andries Coetzee and outside centre Jesse Kriel‚ who have both been in mediocre form at Test level.

Free State Cheetahs flank Oupa Mohoje earned a recall and could feature for the first time this season, while flank Jean-Luc du Preez was named pending the outcome of scans on an ankle injury sustained during the Currie Cup final.

Cheetahs centre Francois Venter has also been included, while Sharks flyhalf Curwin Bosch earned a nod over Western Province’s Rob du Preez as the third flyhalf in the squad.

Tighthead prop Coenie Oosthuizen will also tour after making a speedy recovery from a broken arm‚ sustained against Australia in Perth in September.

Coetzee said his decision to make few additions to the squad was due to consistency and development of the team.

"This squad reflects consistency and continuity‚ while we also rewarded players who have constantly shown good form this season‚" Coetzee said. "Warrick and Lukhanyo are two examples of players who have excelled in the season so far. It’s great to have them in the squad and I look forward to working with them.

"With the World Cup now less than two years away‚ this tour gives us another very good opportunity to keep on building depth and experience.

Coetzee said that eight new players had been capped so far this season.

"A total of 19 new international players made their Springbok debuts since the 2015 Rugby World Cup‚ and we’ve also had a number of new Springbok captains since then.

"Our process to rebuild the Bok team and steadily work towards the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan is continuing at a good and satisfying pace. So far this season‚ this group has shown a genuine willingness to evolve and they continuously strive to be better players within our environment‚" said Coetzee.

"Ireland‚ France‚ Italy and Wales will each be a huge contest. However‚ we are looking forward to the challenge in different conditions."

Centre Jan Serfontein asked not to be considered for the tour as he wants to settle in at French club Montpellier‚ who he has joined recently.

Coetzee also said Siya Kolisi would return to Cape Town after the Test against France in Paris on November 18 because his wife‚ Rachel‚ was due to give birth the following week.

He will not be available for the Test against Italy on November 25‚ but will rejoin the group for the final tour match against Wales.

Players who are contracted to overseas clubs — Franco Mostert‚ Francois Louw and Elton Jantjies — will not be considered for selection for the December 2 encounter against Wales‚ as this Test falls outside the international window.

Other players not considered for selection for the tour because of injury or other reasons include Warren Whiteley (No8)‚ Jaco Kriel (flank)‚ Frans Malherbe (prop)‚ Sbu Nkosi (wing)‚ Ruan Combrinck (wing) and Jan Serfontein (centre).


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