15 players back for Springboks
South Africa World Cup winners Bryan Habana, Fourie du Preez and Francois Steyn were among 15 players recalled to the Tri Nation's squad on Friday as the Springboks look to avenge heavy defeats against Australia and New Zealand.
Twenty front-line players missed the overseas leg of the Tri Nations campaign because of injury and in their absence South Africa lost 39-20 to the Wallabies in Sydney and 40-7 to the All Blacks in Wellington.
Springboks coach Peter de Villiers is hoping the return of wing Habana, scrumhalf Du Preez, utility back Steyn plus locks Bakkies Botha and Victor Matfield will produce better results although six players are still on the injured list, including flanks Schalk Burger, Juan Smith and Willem Alberts.
"We still have a number of injury concerns but the majority of the players who were in rehabilitation have recovered well and are now available for selection," De Villiers said in a statement.
"It's very satisfying to see that Victor Matfield and Bakkies Botha have now largely overcome their injuries but they still require management as we have a shortage of fit locks at the moment.
"We also have injury problems among the loose forwards but I am hopeful that all of the four who are not currently in the playing squad will be ready for selection by the time of the World Cup (later this year)."
Only six players have been retained from the squad that travelled to Australia and New Zealand, including captain John Smit and flyhalf Morne Steyn.
South Africa play Australia in Durban on Aug. 13 before taking on New Zealand in Port Elizabeth on Aug. 20.
Backs - Gio Aplon, Bryan Habana, Jaque Fourie, Juan de Jongh, Jean de Villiers (all Western Province), Francois Steyn (Racing Metro), JP Pietersen (Sharks), Fourie du Preez, Francois Hougaard, Morne Steyn (all Bulls), Butch James (Lions), Ruan Pienaar (Ulster)
Forwards - Danie Rossouw, Bakkies Botha, Victor Matfield, Pierre Spies, Gurthro Steenkamp (all Bulls), John Smit (captain), Bismarck du Plessis, Tendai Mtawarira, Jannie du Plessis, Jean Deysel (all Sharks), Gerhard Mostert (Stade Francais), CJ van der Linde (Lions).