Twenty-year-old Patrick Lambie played the match of his life on Saturday to earn a call-up to the 30-man Springbok team for their grand slam tour of the United Kingdom and Ireland next month.
There were also recalls for fullback Francois Steyn and scrumhalf Ruan Pienaar as under-fire coach Peter de Villiers named six uncapped players to face Ireland, Wales, Scotland and England on consecutive weekends.
Lambie earned selection after scoring 25 points in a man-of-the-match performance for the Sharks, who beat Western Province 30-10 in the provincial Currie Cup final at Kings Park in Durban on Saturday.
Lambie is joined by another 20-year-old flyhalf, Elton Jantjies, while there are also Springbok call-ups for the Sharks trio of wing Lwazi Mvovo, backrowers Keegan Daniel and Willem Alberts, as well as Free State front-rower Coenie Oosthuizen.
“We’ve rewarded players for their form in what was a difficult selection,” De Villiers said in a statement. “It’s a new-look squad but it has a good backbone of experience for what is going to be a challenging tour.”
The team will be led by World Cup-winning lock Victor Matfield in the absence of the injured John Smit, who is joined on the casualty list by regulars Jaque Fourie, Wynand Olivier, Andries Bekker, Fourie du Preez, Heinrich Brussow, JP Pietersen, Gurthro Steenkamp, Butch James and BJ Botha.
The Springboks kick off their tour against Ireland in Dublin on November 6.
Forwards: Willem Alberts (Sharks), Bakkies Botha (Blue Bulls), Schalk Burger (Western Province), Keegan Daniel (Sharks), Bismarck du Plessis (Sharks), Jannie du Plessis (Sharks), Alistair Hargreaves (Sharks), Ryan Kankowski (Sharks), Victor Matfield (captain, Blue Bulls), Tendai Mtawarira (Sharks), Coenie Oosthuizen (Cheetahs), Chiliboy Ralepelle (Blue Bulls), Juan Smith (Cheetahs), Pierre Spies (Blue Bulls), Adriaan Strauss (Cheetahs), CJ van der Linde (Cheetahs), Flip van der Merwe ( Blue Bulls)
Backs: Gio Aplon (Western Province), Bjorn Basson (Blue Bulls), Juan de Jongh (Western Province), Jean de Villiers (Western Province), Francois Hougaard (Blue Bulls), Bryan Habana (Western Province), Elton Jantjies (Golden Lions), Ricky Januarie (Western Province), Patrick Lambie (Sharks), Lwazi Mvovo (Sharks), Ruan Pienaar (Ulster), Francois Steyn (Racing Metro), Morne Steyn (Blue Bulls). – Reuters