Coach Peter de Villiers on Thursday called up three replacements to the Springbok squad for the final two matches of the team’s end-of-year tour against England and the Barbarians – both matches at Twickenham.
Experienced wing Odwa Ndungane, hooker Bandise Maku and uncapped scrumhalf Charl McLeod will join the squad in London on Sunday. They are replacements for injured wings Bryan Habana and Bjorn Basson and hooker Chiliboy Ralepelle, who has been suspended from all rugby activities (along with Basson) following a positive test for a banned stimulant.
Maku (24) and Ndungane (29) have both made one appearance for the Springboks this season – in June – while McLeod (27) is included in a Springbok squad for the first time.
“I called the players to let them know the good news and they’re all really excited to be joining us,” said de Villiers. “I considered calling them in this week but with all the other disruptions I thought it’d be better to focus as much as we could on what is a very important Test against Scotland.
“They can start with us fresh on Monday morning at the beginning of a new Test week.”
Ndungane won the last of his seven caps against Wales at the Millennium Stadium in June while Maku made his Test debut as a replacement against Italy at Witbank, also in June.
McLeod has forced his way into the reckoning after a successful Absa Currie Cup season with The Sharks.
“Charl would have been added to the squad earlier but he suffered an ankle injury in the final and would not have been able to travel as an immediate replacement for Ricky Januarie,” said De Villiers.
“But we’re delighted to be able to give him a chance to show us what he can do at the highest level.”
The three inclusions return the Springbok squad to its original compliment of 30.