Former champion in South Africa squad

(Rugby News Service) Monday 23 July 2007
Former champion in South Africa squad
Os Du Randt lifted the Webb Ellis Cup at RWC 1995

The 30-man squad announced by South Africa coach Jake White features one survivor of the Springboks’ triumph on home soil at Rugby World Cup 1995 in prop Os du Randt, who is now a veteran of 72 Tests in the famous jersey.

Du Randt, who also played in the 1999 tournament and returned to Springbok colours in 2004 after a five-year absence, will turn 35 the day before South Africa open their World Cup campaign against Samoa at the Parc des Princes in Paris on 9 September.

His fellow forward Bob Skinstad and fullback Percy Montgomery also return to the World Cup stage some eight years after their last appearance, while seven others involved in the 2003 tournament are named in White’s squad, including captain John Smit.

Skinstad’s selection completes a dramatic return to international rugby, the back row having not even been playing professional rugby a year ago but has since captained South Africa in the Tri Nations before breaking a rib earlier this month.

The squad has a blend of experience and youth with fullback Francois Steyn contributing the latter at only 20, but having already proved a match winner in this year's Tri Nations encounter with Australia in Cape Town.

“It’s an exciting mix of players, many of whom have been together since I started my career as head coach of the Springboks,” said White. “I have great confidence in these players. They will carry the flag for the nation during the tournament with pride.”

SARU President Oregan Hoskins added: “Once the tournament starts, the whole nation will be looking up to these fine young South Africans to reflect a proud history of rugby excellence that has come to be associated with the Springboks.”

South Africa, who leave for France on 3 September, have been drawn in Pool A at Rugby World Cup 2007 with defending champions England, Samoa, Tonga and USA Eagles.

South Africa squad:

Forwards (16): Bakkies Botha, BJ Botha, Gary Botha, Schalk Burger, Os du Randt, Victor Matfield, Johann Muller, Danie Rossouw, Bob Skinstad, John Smit (Captain), Pierre Spies, Juan Smith, Gurthro Steenkamp, Albert Van Den Berg, Wikus Van Heerden, CJ Van Der Linde.

Backs (14): Jean de Villiers, Fourie Du Preez, Jaque Fourie, Bryan Habana, Butch James, Ricky Januarie, Percy Montgomery, Akona Ndungane, Wynand Olivier, Ruan Pienaar, JP Pietersen, Andre Pretorius, Francois Steyn, Ashwin Willemse.