| 9.7°C Dublin

Habana ruled out for Boks

South Africa have named five uncapped players in their squad for the upcoming tour of Britain and Ireland, although star winger Bryan Habana misses out through injury.

The 29-year-old hurt his knee playing for Western Province in the weekend's Currie Cup final victory over the Sharks, with scans revealing he will not be fit in time for the three-Test tour, which begins in Ireland on November 10.

Habana's is the latest in a series of injuries to hit Heyneke Meyer's squad, with the likes of Bismarck du Plessis, Pierre Spies, Frans Steyn, Schalk Burger and Juan Smith among those sidelined.

The list of absentees has, however, opened the door for five new faces -- wingers Raymond Rhule and Lionel Mapoe, loose forward Arno Botha, lock Franco van der Merwe and scrum-half Jano Vermaak. Full-back JP Pietersen and hooker Chiliboy Ralepelle have also returned to the squad following injury.

After the match with Ireland on Saturday week, the Springboks take on Scotland on November 17 before meeting England a week later.

Meyer said of the tour: "Although the Springboks won on their last visit to Dublin (in 2010), they lost three in a row before that. Our aim is to end the season on a positive note."

The squad will gather in Cape Town in midweek before flying out on Saturday.

South Africa squad: Alberts, Botha, Brits, Cilliers, Coetzee, De Jongh, De Villiers (captain), Du Plessis, Etzebeth, Hougaard, Jantjies, Kirchner, Kruger, Lambie, Louw, Mapoe, Mtawarira, Mvovo, Pienaar, Pietersen, Ralepelle, Rhule, Steenkamp, Steyn, Strauss, Taute, Van der Linde, Flip van der Merwe, Franco van der Merwe, Vermaak, Vermeulen.



O'Shea: Quins were in luck

Harlequins director of rugby Conor O'Shea admitted his side "got away with" a below-par performance before emerging with a 31-28 win at London Irish.

Tom Casson's last-gasp score looked for the all the world like a knock-on but television match official Graham Hughes ruled that the ball had ricocheted forward off the centre's knee, making the subsequent grounding legal. O'Shea admitted that on another day it could easily have been the Exiles celebrating a famous win.

"Everyone forgets certain games at the end of the season - it's all about playing your best all season and fortunately this was one we got away with without playing at our best."


Privacy