Two Cheetahs among new Springbok call-ups

On the day they helped Free State Cheetahs to Currie Cup glory, Sergeal Petersen and Francois Venter have earned maiden call-ups to South Africa's squad for their November internationals.

Petersen scored his side's final try as Cheetahs rounded off a perfect season in the Currie Cup by beating Blue Bulls 36-16 in Bloemfontein.

The wing, together with club skipper Venter, Bulls flanker Roelof Smit and Sharks back-row Jean-Luc du Preez, will now travel to Europe as part of a 33-man Springboks squad to face England, Italy and Wales.

Ruan Combrinck is fit again following a leg problem in a welcome boost for coach Allister Coetzee, who is unable to call on a host of other players due to injury.

Experienced figures JP Pietersen and Jannie du Plessis also return, but Duane Vermuelen misses out, with Coetzee revealing the conditioning of the Toulon number eight is "not up to international standard" following his recent comeback.

The four uncapped players in Coetzee's squad are among 12 new faces selected in a 30-man party to face the Barbarians at Wembley.

Coetzee said: "Francois, Jean-Luc, Sergeal and Roelof will stay behind as part of the Springbok squad for the Tests against England, Italy and Wales.

"It will be good for them to experience the ethos of the Springboks while on tour and with strong performances, I am sure that they will be involved on a regular basis with the Springboks in the future.

"It is also very pleasing to see the return of JP and Jannie, as their experience will be vital for us, as well as Ruan, who is now fully fit again. They are welcome additions to the squad because we have a long list of injured players who are unfortunately not available for selection.

"We prefer to see it as an amazing opportunity for the players selected in the squad. We are looking forward to turn things around on tour against quality opposition."

Hooker Adriaan Strauss will lead the Boks, who won only two matches in the recent Rugby Championship, in his final tour before retiring from international rugby.

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