The concussion sustained by Durban Sharks out-half Pat Lambie during South Africa’s first test with Ireland last June has prevented a return to action for the 25-year.
Having been ruled ineligible for the Sharks playoff run-in for Super Rugby’s culmination after failing to make the minimum required appearances for the season, Lambie’s injury and subsequent inactivity have resulted in his exclusion from Allistair Coetzee’s South African Rugby Championship squad.
In total seven changes have been made to the Springboks squad that faced Ireland with injury being a influencing factor in Coetzee’s decision making as six players alongside Lambie are currently out of action; Frans Malherbe, Coenie Oosthuizen, Jan Serfontein, Handré Pollard, Cobus Reinach and Siya Kolisi being the names of the injured party.
In to the squad have arrived uncapped Malcolm Marx and recalled Oupa Mohoje, Vincent Koch, Juan de Jongh, Francois Hougaard, Bryan Habana and Johan Goosen with the Lions contingent of the squad expected to arrive to preparations for South Africa’s first two games against Argentina within the coming week.
Speaking to the media Coetzee expressed his excitement at working with the incoming players: (via superxv.com)
“I’m excited to get Malcolm Marx involved with the Boks on the back of a very strong Super Rugby season,” said Coetzee.
“It’s also great to welcome back Oupa Mohoje and Vincent Koch to the Boks – both of them have worked incredibly hard and played very well recently.
“Johan Goosen has been in outstanding form for his club in France and gives us a number of options in the backline with his versatility, while Francois Hougaard, Juan de Jongh and Bryan Habana were previously not available because of Springbok Sevens commitments.
“We are fortunate to welcome back an experienced player such as Bryan, who will be able to provide great guidance to our young backs, while Juan and Francois also bring vast experience with them.”
Coetzee explained his reasoning for excluding the considerable experience of both Willie Le Roux and JP Pietersen with player welfare being a factor:
“The other players who were part of the squad in June but have missed out on selection, will continue to be part of the process going forward. We have to build depth because this is a long haul and a tough competition, and they are not out of our plans. It is important that a player such as Scarra Ntubeni, for example, gets playing time in the Currie Cup with his provincial team.
“Losing Pat and Frans to injury is a huge blow as both of them are part of our leadership group. However, Oupa also brings leadership to the squad having captained the SA ‘A’ side earlier year against the England Saxons and also leading the Cheetahs towards the end of their Super Rugby campaign,” added Coetzee.
“We will use our experience and learnings from the Ireland series as the stepping stone for the Rugby Championship and keep on growing our depth in our squad and improve on our overall game.”
The Springbok squad for the Rugby Championship is:
1. Ruan Combrinck Wing Lions 2 caps
2. Damian de Allende Centre Stormers 16 caps
3. Lood de Jager Lock Cheetahs 20 caps
4. Juan de Jongh Centre Stormers 14 caps
5. Faf de Klerk Scrumhalf Lions 3 caps
6. Pieter-Steph du Toit Lock Stormers 11 caps
7. Eben Etzebeth Lock Stormers 47 caps
8. Johan Goosen Utility Back Racing Metro (France) 6 caps
9. Bryan Habana Wing Toulon (France) 117 caps
10. Francois Hougaard Utility Back Worcester (England) 35 caps
11. Elton Jantjies Flyhalf Lions 5 caps
12. Steven Kitshoff Prop Bordeaux (France) 1 cap
13. Vincent Koch Prop Stormers/Steval Pumas 2 caps
14. Jaco Kriel Flank Lions 1 cap
15. Jesse Kriel Centre Bulls 12 caps
16. Francois Louw Flank Bath (England) 46 caps
17. Lionel Mapoe Centre Lions 4 caps
18. Malcolm Marx Hooker Lions 0 caps
19. Bongi Mbonambi Hooker Stormers 1 cap
20. Teboho Mohoje Flank Cheetahs 8 caps
21. Franco Mostert Lock Lions 2 caps
22. Tendai Mtawarira Prop Cell C Sharks 78 caps
23. Lwazi Mvovo Wing Cell C Sharks 17 caps
24. Sikhumbuzo Notshe Flank Stormers 0 caps
25. *Trevor Nyakane Prop Bulls 25 caps
26. Rudy Paige Scrumhalf Bulls 3 caps
27. Julian Redelinghuys Prop Lions 5 caps
28. Morne Steyn Flyhalf Stade Francais (France) 61 caps
29. Adriaan Strauss (captain) Hooker Bulls 57 caps
30. Duane Vermeulen No 8 Toulon (France) 37 caps
31. Warren Whiteley No 8 Lions 6 caps