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Bryan Habana among South Africa's absentees for Ireland series

Published 28/05/2016

Bryan Habana will miss the Ireland series due to sevens commitments
Bryan Habana will miss the Ireland series due to sevens commitments

Handre Pollard, Bryan Habana and Ruan Pienaar are among South Africa's absentees for next month's three-Test series against Ireland.

New Springboks coach Allister Coetzee has named nine uncapped players in a new-look 31-man squad that is missing a host of players due to sevens commitments and injuries.

Backs Garth April, Ruan Combrinck, Faf de Klerk and Nic Groom plus forwards Steven Kitshoff, Jaco Kriel, Bongi Mbonambi, Sikhumbuzo Notshe and Scarra Ntubeni are those to benefit from the unavailability of 26 players.

"The announcement of the squad, while hugely challenging, is a highlight of my career and a result of a lot of hard work and a huge amount of planning since my appointment," said Coetzee.

"The selection of this squad was based on rewarding form and exposing young and upcoming local players to the Springboks, which is why priority was given to locally-based players.

"We have many experienced players still available for selection, but we just felt that the time was right to look at the next generation.

"I was appointed to win Test matches and I believe we have picked the best possible, available squad to do that."

Coetzee has not named a captain for the series, which begins at Newlands on June 11.

South Africa squad:

Forwards: Lood de Jager, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Eben Etzebeth, Steven Kitshoff, Siya Kolisi, Jaco Kriel, Francois Louw, Frans Malherbe, Bongi Mbonambi, Tendai Mtawarira, Sikhumbuzo Notshe, Scarra Ntubeni, Trevor Nyakane, Julian Redelinghuys, Adriaan Strauss, Duane Vermeulen, Warren Whiteley.

Backs: Garth April, Ruan Combrinck, Damian de Allende, Faf de Klerk, Nic Groom, Elton Jantjies, Jesse Kriel, Patrick Lambie, Willie le Roux, Lionel Mapoe, Lwazi Mvovo, Rudy Paige, JP Pietersen, Jan Serfontein.

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