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Mapoe, du Preez added to Springbok squad ahead of French Series

MAY 29, 2017
Mapoe, du Preez added to Springbok squad ahead of French Series

Sharks’ loose-forward, Jean-Luc du Preez and Lions centre, Lionel Mapoe, have been called up to join the Springbok squad ahead of their three-match Test Series against France in June.

Du Preez and Mapoe will join the squad, who are readying for their week-long third and final camp in Plettenberg Bay on Monday.

The initial 31-man Springbok squad was announced last Tuesday, which had omitted the aforementioned two players, but were both included in the South Africa ‘A’ squad ahead of their two-match series against the French Barbarians instead.

Due to Springbok veteran, Duane Vermeulen’s involvement with France’s Toulon ahead of their French Top 14 Final against Clermont this coming Saturday, du Preez was called up to bolster the loose-forward department in Vermeulen’s absence.

Mapoe on the other hand, replaces injured Lukhanyo Am, who fractured his cheekbone on Saturday when he outed for the Sharks against the Stormers.

The dynamic Lions centre, however, along with du Preez were both surprise omissions in last week’s team announcement and will certainly not weaken the squad.  Mapoe earned himself 11 Test caps in 2016, and continued his sparking form for the Lions in the 2017 Super Rugby season so far.

Vermeulen is expected to join the Bok squad following the French Top 14 Final, but du Preez’s presence and given-exposure should benefit his involvement in the national set-up moving forward. Du Preez made his Springbok debut in South Africa's final match of 2016 against Wales.

Springbok 31-man squad:

Forwards:

Lood de Jager, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Ruan Dreyer, Jean-Luc du Preez, Eben Etzebeth, Steven Kitshoff, Siya Kolisi, Jaco Kriel, Frans Malherbe, Malcolm Marx, Bongi Mbonambi, Oupa Mohoje, Franco Mostert, Tendai Mtawarira, Lizo Gqoboka, Coenie Oosthuizen, Chiliboy Ralepelle, Duane Vermeulen, Warren Whiteley (captain)

Backs

Andries Coetzee, Ross Cronje, Damian de Allende, Francois Hougaard, Elton Jantjies, Jesse Kriel, Dillyn Leyds, Lionel Mapoe, Rudy Paige, Raymond Rhule, Jan Serfontein, Courtnall Skosan, Frans Steyn

Image: Jean-Luc du Preez looking dejected on Springbok debut when the side lost to Wales 27-13.