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De Villiers relies on Bulls

Peter de Villiers, the Springbok coach, last night named a 28-strong party for the forthcoming three-Test series against the Lions. There was a predictably large, but still unnerving, representation from the Pretoria-based Bulls, whose Super 14 victory at Loftus Versfeld last weekend bordered on the breathtaking. Ten of that side have made the cut, along with a similar number from the Durban-based Sharks, including the captain, John Smit.

De Villiers has no specialist full-back in his party: Conrad Jantjes, the current front-line No 15, is injured. The World Cup-winning wing J P Pietersen is a hot tip to perform the role in the first Test on 20 June.

Morne Steyn, the stand-off with a penchant for drop goals, has been promoted to the squad and there is also a place for namesake Francois.