11 Sharks called up to Springbok training squad



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Jannie du Plessis was a surprise omission when the list of Sharks players, who have been invited to the Springbok training camp in Somerset West, was announced on Monday.

The Sharks tighthead was impressive in his side’s semifinal defeat against the Warathas in Sydney over the weekend and had strong selection claims for inclusion in the Bok training squad.

Du Plessis, a fully qualified doctor, made his Springbok debut last year on the Tri-Nations tour of Australasia when he replaced the injured Cobus Visagie against Australia.

He was a member of Jake White’s World Cup winning squad after he joined as a late replacement and made his tournament debut in the quarterfinal against Fiji.

De Villiers felt that Du Plessis’ absence did not suggest the player wasn’t good enough. “Jannie did not always make the Sharks’ starting line-up in the Super 14 this season,” said De Villiers.

“There are some guys like (Brian) Mujati who have been stars of the Super 14. By not having Jannie here is not to say that he’s not good enough, or that we don’t want him, it’s just that there are other guys on song.

We always said that we (Springbok selectors) will look at form. “Really, I wish I could have all the players at this camp.”

Another surprise omission is Rory Kockett, who is regarded as one of the top three scrumhalves in the country. With first choice scrumhalf Fourie du Preez out with injury for at least six weeks, Kockett would have been a sound choice as the understudy to Ricky Januarie.

One other Sharks player who can consider himself unlucky is centre Bradley Barritt who has been very effective, both on attack and defence. The Sharks players will start arriving in Cape Town on Tuesday.

Sharks players for inclusion in the Bok training squad:

BJ Botha, Bismarck du Plessis, Adrian Jacobs, Ryan Kankowski, Tendai Mtawarira, Johann Muller, Waylon Murray, Odwa Ndungane, Ruan Pienaar, JP Pietersen and Francois Steyn.

Sapa –

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