Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 September 2014

De Villiers names experienced squad

Peter De Villiers

South Africa coach Peter De Villiers will rely on the core of the squad that became world champions four years ago after naming his 30-man World Cup squad.

There were 18 survivors from that world-title clinching team, including 12 of those who started in the 15-6 final victory over England in Paris.

Skipper John Smit, who will appear in his third World Cup, will lead the team despite coming in for some criticism during the Springboks' Tri Nations campaign, which ended with their first win of the campaign over an under-strength New Zealand at the weekend.

De Villiers selected a largely predictable squad although Odwa Ndungane got the nod ahead of fellow Sharks winger Lwazi Mvovo while new Bath signing Francois Louw was favoured ahead of Ashley Johnson.

"The squad has a backbone of proven title-winning ability and experience as well as a strong component of new stars," De Villiers said.

"Injury has denied us one or two players who could have been very important to us, but I am very happy with the squad we have picked.

"We have good coverage for every position and front-line players who have shown over the past half-dozen seasons that they know how to win big games."

South Africa are due to fly out to New Zealand on September 1 ahead of their first match against Wales 10 days later in Wellington.

South Africa squad: Willem Alberts, Gio Aplon, Bakkies Botha, Heinrich Brussow, Schalk Burger, Juan de Jongh, Jean de Villiers, Bismarck du Plessis, Jannie du Plessis, Fourie du Preez, Jaque Fourie, Bryan Habana, Francois Hougaard, Butch James, Pat Lambie.

Francois Louw, Victor Matfield (vice-captain), Tendai Mtawarira, Johann Muller, Odwa Ndungane, Ruan Pienaar, JP Pietersen, Chiliboy Ralepelle, Danie Rossouw, John Smit (captain), Pierre Spies, Gurthro Steenkamp, Frans Steyn, Morne Steyn, CJ van der Linde.

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