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De Villiers left out of Springboks squad for Australia tour

The centre has been released to Western Province to get game-time in the province’s friendly matches in the build-up to the domestic Currie Cup season.

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De Villiers returned to action after seven months on the sidelines with a knee injury for the final 20 minutes of the 46-10 victory for the Springboks over a World XV at Newlands on Saturday.

He is the only member of the 23-man squad who did duty in the exhibition game not to travel to Australia.

Nine players have been added to the selection, including centre Jan Serfontein, who has been out with injury, experienced flyhalf Morne Steyn and hooker Schalk Brits.

“I would like to give as many of our squad members as possible game time in the build-up to the Rugby World Cup, so there will be changes against the Wallabies,” Bok coach Heyneke Meyer said in a press release from SARU on Sunday.

“We’ll re-assess the minor bumps and bruises when we get to Brisbane on Monday evening (Australian time).

“It’s a short week so the guys will have to find their rhythm quickly before we play what promises to be a very tough and intense test match against Australia.”

Injured players Duane Vermeulen, Willem Alberts, Frans Steyn, Fourie du Preez, Pieter-Steph du Toit and Steven Kitshoff were not considered for the tour.

Squad:

Forwards (17): Schalk Brits, Schalk Burger, Marcell Coetzee, Lood de Jager, Bismarck du Plessis, Jannie du Plessis, Eben Etzebeth, Vincent Koch, Francois Louw, Frans Malherbe, Victor Matfield, Teboho Mohoje, Tendai Mtawarira, Trevor Nyakane, Adriaan Strauss, Heinke van der Merwe, Warren Whiteley.

Backs (14): Damian de Allende, Bryan Habana, Jesse Kriel, Patrick Lambie, Willie le Roux, Lionel Mapoe, Lwazi Mvovo, Rudy Paige, Ruan Pienaar, JP Pietersen, Handre Pollard, Cobus Reinach, Jan Serfontein, Morne Steyn.

(Reporting by Nick Said; editing by Sudipto Ganguly)

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