10:59am Monday 19th May 2014
WORLD Cup winners Victor Matfield and Schalk Burger have been included in South Africa's training squad ahead of their summer Tests against Wales, writes Chris Kirwan.
Matfield, Burger and Cheetahs flanker Heinrich Brussow have not featured for the Springboks since the 2011 World Cup but have been called up by boss Heyneke Meyer.
The Boks are without their European-based players for the training camp in Durban from May 25 to 28 and include eight uncapped players in a 36-strong squad.
Meyer said: "Victor and Schalk have been out of rugby for a long time. They've really been in great form recently and the fact that they have not been with the Boks for more than two years, has made them hungry for Test rugby yet again.
"It's great to welcome them back into the Springbok fold and I know both of them can still add a lot of value to the team with the Rugby World Cup in 2015 looming.
"I'm also looking forward to working with Heinrich for the first time. He's been playing very well for the Toyota Cheetahs since returning from injury and brings a lot of experience.
"However, the message to every player in this training squad is clear - everyone must accelerate in each area from the first moment we are together as a team and that inclusion in this squad is no guarantee of selection.
"This is a very big year for us and the players know they will have to step up a gear, be sharp and focused from the moment we get going in Durban.
"We have 14 very challenging matches ahead in 2014 and it's imperative that we build on what was a good season last year."
The Springboks take on a World XV before the two Tests against Wales in June.
Forwards: Tendai Mtawarira, Trevor Nyakane, Marcel van der Merwe, Jannie du Plessis, Frans Malherbe, Coenie Oosthuizen, Bismarck du Plessis, Adriaan Strauss, Eben Etzebeth, Lood de Jager, Victor Matfield, Flip van der Merwe, Heinrich Brüssow, Marcell Coetzee, Siya Kolisi, Willem Alberts, Jacques du Plessis, Teboho Mohoje, Duane Vermeulen, Schalk Burger.
Backs: Fourie du Preez, Francois Hougaard, Johan Goosen, Marnitz Boshoff, Jean de Villiers, Damian De Allende, Jan Serfontein, Juan de Jongh, JJ Engelbrecht, S'bura Sithole, Frans Steyn, Lwazi Mvovo, Bjorn Basson, JP Pietersen, Cornal Hendricks, Willie le Roux.
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