Smit, the most capped international captain in Test rugby, will win his 103rd cap against Australia in Sydney on July 23. A week later the Springboks play New Zealand in Wellington.
The squad features youth and experience, as well as recognising Vodacom Super Rugby form. There are five Rugby World Cup winners in the squad as well as six uncapped players in flyhalf Elton Jantjies, scrumhalf Charl McLeod, loose forward Ashley Johnson and props Coenie Oosthuizen, Werner Kruger and Dean Greyling. All but Greyling have appeared in non-cap matches for the Springboks.
“We’ve rewarded players who have performed outstandingly in Vodacom Super Rugby,” said De Villiers, “although the injury situation has also been critical. But there is a backbone of experience and it means that all our leading players will receive Test exposure this year.”
The squad was selected following medical assessments, which identified that a number of players were carrying injuries and required immediate rehabilitation to avoid the risk of break down before the end of the international year.
The tour squad will assemble in Johannesburg on Sunday afternoon and leave for Australia on July 15.
Castle Tri-Nations tour squad:
|Gio Aplon||DHL Western Province|
|Bjorn Basson||Vodacom Blue Bulls|
|Juan de Jongh||DHL Western Province|
|Adrian Jacobs||The Sharks|
|Elton Jantjies||MTN Lions|
|Patrick Lambie||The Sharks|
|Charl McLeod||The Sharks|
|Lwazi Mvovo||The Sharks|
|Odwa Ndungane||The Sharks|
|Wynand Olivier||Vodacom Blue Bulls|
|Morne Steyn||Vodacom Blue Bulls|
|Heinrich Brüssow||Toyota Free State Cheetahs|
|Jean Deysel||The Sharks|
|Dean Greyling||Vodacom Blue Bulls|
|Alistair Hargreaves||The Sharks|
|Ryan Kankowski||The Sharks|
|Werner Kruger||Vodacom Blue Bulls|
|Ashley Johnson||Toyota Free State Cheetahs|
|Coenie Oosthuizen||Toyota Free State Cheetahs|
|Chiliboy Ralepelle||Vodacom Blue Bulls|
|Danie Rossouw||Vodacom Blue Bulls|
|John Smit (captain)||The Sharks|
|Deon Stegmann||Vodacom Blue Bulls|
|Adriaan Strauss||Toyota Free State Cheetahs|
|Flip van der Merwe||Vodacom Blue Bulls|