Mon, Jul 23, 2007 - Page 18 News List

No surprises in 'Bok squad

AFP, CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA

South Africa's national selectors have named a predictable and experienced squad of 30 players to feature at this year's World Cup tournament.

National coach Jake White named 14 backs and 16 forwards with the squad being a good blend of youth and experience.

Loose forward Bob Skinstad, who'd given up the game in South Africa in 2003 and only returned to action for the Coastal Sharks in this season's Super 14 championship, is the big winner in the squad.

Skinstad spent the last four years in England where he played a minor role with the Richmond club. He was lured back to the country of his birth by White during last season's 'Bok tour of Ireland and England.

The other player who snuck into the squad at the last minute was flanker Wikus van Heerden, a star performer in the weakened 'Bok side during the recent away leg of the Tri-Nations.

White also included injured flyhalf Andre Pretorius in his squad. Pretorius has played no rugby since the latter stages of the Super 14 competition.

Somewhat surprisingly the selectors opted for only two hookers, captain John Smit and Gary Botha, while there are three scrumhalves in Fourie du Preez, Ruan Pienaar and Ricky Januarie.

Also selected in the France-bound team is veteran loosehead prop Os du Randt as well as winger Ashwin Willemse, who only returned to rugby in the latter stages of the Super 14 competition, which ended in May, after sitting on the sidelines for two years nursing knee, ankle and hamstring injuries.

SQUAD:

Backs: Percy Montgomery, Francois Steyn, JP Pietersen, Bryan Habana, Ashwin Willemse, Akona Ndungane, Jaque Fourie, Jean de Villiers, Wynand Olivier, Butch James, Andre Pretorius, Fourie du Preez, Ruan Pienaar, Ricky Januarie.

Forwards: Pierre Spies, Bob Skinstad, Juan Smith, Schalk Burger, Wikus van Heerden, Danie Rossouw, Victor Matfield, Bakkies Botha, Johann Muller, Albert van den Berg, BJ Botha, CJ van der Linde, Os du Randt, Gurthro Steenkamp, John Smit (captain), Gary Botha.

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