Six new players as Springboks prepare for Lions

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The Independent Online

Six uncapped players featured in the 23-man South Africa squad to play a Namibian XV next week in the Springboks' only warmup match for the British and Irish Lions rugby series.

The uncapped players were Sharks flanker Jean Deysel and lock Steven Sykes, Cheetahs prop Wian du Preez, Stormers centre Morgan Newman, and Lions halfback Jano Vermaak and first five-eighths Earl Rose.

Rose toured with the Springboks to Britain last year but didn't play, while Du Preez also went to Britain at the end of 2007 but didn't play.

The Bulls were not considered because they're in the Super 14 semifinals, and Lions centre Jaque Fourie was getting married the day after the match, and Sharks prop Deon Carstens and first five-eighths Ruan Pienaar were overlooked because of injuries. Pienaar injured his knee against the Bulls on Saturday and Springboks coach Peter de Villiers said he'll be out for three weeks.

"I am hoping he will be fit to play in the first test against the Lions in Durban (on June 20) but we are fortunate in that we have adequate cover in the first five-eighths position if it is required," De Villiers said.

The squad will assemble on Monday - when the British Lions also arrive in the country - and travel to Windhoek on Thursday next week to play the Namibian Invitation XV the next day.

South Africa

Andries Bekker, Heinrich Broussow, Schalk Burger, Jean de Villiers, Jean Deysel, Bismarck Du Plessis, Wian Du Preez, Peter Grant, Adi Jacobs, Ricky Januarie, Ryan Kankowski, Tendai Mtawarira, Johan Muller, Odwa Ndungane, Morgan Newman, Jongi Nokwe, JP Pietersen, Earl Rose, John Smit (captain), Juan Smith, Adriaan Strauss, Steven Sykes, Jano Vermaak.