SPRINGBOK HEAD COACH Allister Coetzee has recalled fullback Willie le Roux and fit-again out-half Pat Lambie to his 31-man squad for fixtures against Australia and New Zealand in the final rounds of the Rugby Championship.
Coetzee’s side are heading into home fixtures against Australia on 1 October and New Zealand a week later on the back of three successive defeats in the tournament, including an away loss in Argentina.
Lambie returns to the squad after suffering a concussion in the first of the three Tests against Ireland in June, in an incident which saw flanker CJ Stander shown a straight red card, and subsequently handed a one-week suspension.
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Despite the sending off, Joe Schmidt’s side went on to win the match in Newlands Stadium 26-20, their first victory on South African soil.
However, they ultimately fell to a 2-1 series defeat after losses in Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth.
Lambie, 25, made his competitive return in a 23-minute Currie Cup cameo for the Sharks last week, more than three months after the sickening collision.
Le Roux has also been recalled to the Springbok squad having not featured for South Africa since playing against Ireland in the third Test match, when he received a yellow card for this challenge on Ireland fullback Tiernan O’Halloran.
Le Roux also received a one-week suspension after being cited for the challenge.
Lambie (51) and Cheetahs star Le Roux (37) have 88 international caps between them and will add plenty of experience to Coetzee’s backs, putting pressure on incumbent out-half Elton Jantjies and fullback Johan Goosen.
Lock Lood de Jager (knee) and tighthead prop Julian Redelinghus (hamstring) also bolster Coetzee’s forward options with prop Lourens Adriaanse dropping out of the squad.
The Springboks are currently in third position on the table, one point clear of Argentina and three behind Australia. The All Blacks have already wrapped up the title with two rounds to spare.
South Africa squad: Willem Alberts, Damian de Allende, Lood de Jager, Juan de Jongh, Faf de Klerk, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Eben Etzebeth, Johan Goosen, Bryan Habana, Francois Hougaard, Elton Jantjies, Steven Kitshoff, Vincent Koch, Jaco Kriel, Jesse Kriel, Patrick Lambie, Willie le Roux, Francois Louw, Lionel Mapoe, Malcolm Marx, Bongi Mbonambi, Oupa Mohoje, Franco Mostert, Tendai Mtawarira, Lwazi Mvovo, Trevor Nyakane, Rudy Paige, Julian Redelinghuys, Morne Steyn, Adriaan Strauss, Warren Whiteley.
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