Tendai "Beast" Mtawarira will miss the Springboks’ November tour of Britain and France‚ robbing the squad of their most experienced player for four tough Tests.
Mtawarira‚ 33‚ sustained a chest muscle injury against the All Blacks in Pretoria recently‚ meaning he will not add to his 107 caps in 2018.
There was a recall for No 8 Duane Vermeulen‚ who missed the Rugby Championship due to Japanese club commitments.
Lock Lood de Jager was recalled after a lengthy injury layoff that has kept him out of the entire international season, and prop Trevor Nyakane is back as well.
Coach Rassie Erasmus named a preliminary 20-man squad on Sunday‚ to be fleshed out to about 34 players after this weekend’s Currie Cup final.
Though names will be added‚ including those of some northern hemisphere-based players‚ Erasmus has stuck largely to the names that have played in 2018.
Lock Franco Mostert was not named on Sunday as he has just joined English club Gloucester. He should be included when Erasmus completes the squad announcement next week.
"It is good to welcome back a player of the calibre of Lood. He will add experience to a position where we already have some very good competition for places‚" Erasmus said.
"Duane‚ of course‚ will also bring similar valuable experience to the group."
Erasmus said the coaching staff are looking forward to working again with the players following a short break after the Rugby Championship.
"It’s a tough tour and our preparation time is limited‚ but we have set ourselves some goals and as has been the case the entire season‚ we would like to see the squad continue to grow as a group and add to our depth with the 2019 Rugby World Cup less than a year away‚" said Erasmus.
The Springboks will open on Saturday, November 3 at Twickenham in London, when they will face England for a fourth time in 2018. A week later they tackle France at the Stade de France in Paris.
On November 17 Scotland are hosts at Murrayfield in Edinburgh‚ before a visit to the Principality Stadium in Cardiff to play Wales on November 24.