Whiteley named Springboks captain as Steyn, Ralepelle recalled

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Lions skipper Warren Whiteley has been appointed as South Africa's captain and will lead a new-look 31-man squad for next month's series against France.

After a lengthy period of uncertainty regarding who would captain the Springboks, number eight Whiteley was confirmed on Tuesday as the successor to Adriaan Strauss, who retired from Test rugby at the end of 2016.

Head coach Allister Coetzee said: "Warren has been one of the outstanding leaders in South African rugby for many years.

"He is respected by his team-mates and opposition alike and has a lot of experience when it comes to captaincy, having led the Lions with great authority for many seasons. He is resilient, copes well under pressure and makes good decisions."

The Springboks squad for the three June Tests with France features eight uncapped players and six experienced figures who have been brought back to the international fold.

Francois Steyn, part of the squad that won the 2007 World Cup, is the most notable player to have been recalled. His last appearance for South Africa came in 2012.

Chiliboy Ralepelle has also been called up having served a two-year doping ban, while Jan Serfontein, Francois Hougaard, Duane Vermeulen and Coenie Oosthuizen all return from injury.

The new faces in South Africa's squad are Sharks centre Lukhanyo Am, Stormers utility back Dillyn Leyds and Lions backs Andries Coetzee and Courtnall Skosan.

Cheetahs wing Raymond Rhule, Bulls prop Lizo Gqoboka and Lions duo Ross Cronje and Ruan Dreyer, who play at scrum-half and prop respectively, will also hope to earn their first caps having previously toured with the Boks without playing.

Pat Lambie, Handre Pollard and Francois Louw are among a host of players unavailable through injury.

 

South Africa squad to face France:

Forwards: Lood de Jager, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Ruan Dreyer, Eben Etzebeth, Steven Kitshoff, Siya Kolisi, Jaco Kriel, Frans Malherbe, Malcolm Marx, Bongi Mbonambi, Oupa Mohoje, Franco Mostert, Tendai Mtawarira, Lizo Gqoboka, Coenie Oosthuizen, Chiliboy Ralepelle, Duane Vermeulen, Warren Whiteley (captain).

Backs: Lukhanyo Am, Andries Coetzee, Ross Cronje, Damian de Allende, Francois Hougaard, Elton Jantjies, Jesse Kriel, Dillyn Leyds, Rudy Paige, Raymond Rhule, Jan Serfontein, Courtnall Skosan, Francois Steyn.