Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Champions name their preliminary World Cup squad

Defending world champions South Africa have named their preliminary World Cup squad of 49 players. The enlarged part will be whittled down to 30 before the squad fly off to New Zealand later this year, looking to defend the title they won in 2007 in Paris. South Africa will start their campaign facing Wales, Samoa, Fiji and Namibia in Group D, overwhelmingly backed to progress to the knock-out stages.

The 49-man squad is made up of experienced stars with only six uncapped players amongst the party. Props Dean Greyling, Werner Kruger and Coenier Oosthuizen will have a chance to earn their spot on the plane, as will back-row pair Ashley Johnson and Duane Vermeulen and fly-half Elton Jantjies. Those looking at the Rugby World Cup betting odds will be keeping a close eye on their progress.

The overseas players selected have been Ulster trio Johann Muller, BJ Botha and Ruan Pienaar, along with Racing Metro's Francois Steyn. There is also a return for experienced scrum-half Ricky Januarie, who will be hoping to earn his spot in the final squad.

The squad will also form the basis of the shortened Tri Nations campaign that kicks-off this summer, likely to be the final ever three-team version of the tournament with Argentina expected to join next season.

The Springboks head coach Peter de Villiers has declared himself happy with the makeup of the squad.

He said: "We have got a good blend of youth and experience as well as including some uncapped players who have forced their way into contention for selection with their performances in Super rugby."

No comments:

Post a Comment