South Africa Autumn Nations Series squad: Uncapped Salmaan Moerat, Grant Williams in; Morne Steyn retires; Faf de Klerk out

Springboks head coach Jacques Nienaber has named two uncapped players in his 32-man autumn squad for Tests vs Wales, Scotland and England between November 6 and November 20; the squad does not include scrum-half Faf de Klerk, who is injured, or fly-half Morne Steyn, who has retired

Last Updated: 19/10/21 12:25pm

Springboks scrum-half Faf de Klerk is absent from their autumn squad due to injury

South Africa have named two uncapped players in their 32-man squad for Tests against Wales, Scotland and England next month but will be without veteran fly-half Morne Steyn, who has retired from international rugby.

Steyn kicked the penalty that won the Springboks the series against the British & Irish Lions in August, but the 37-year-old has called time on his career in the green and gold after 68 Tests to focus on club rugby and spending more time with his family, local media reported.

At the opposite end of the spectrum is a first call-up for lock Salmaan Moerat, who has impressed with the Stormers this year, and joins Durban-based Sharks scrum-half Grant Williams as the uncapped players in the squad.

Morne Steyn had announced his retirement from Test rugby

Morne Steyn had announced his retirement from Test rugby

Williams has made the cut with experienced number nine Faf de Klerk out with a hip injury that is likely to see him side-lined into 2022. Elsewhere, tighthead prop Frans Malherbe also misses out through injury.

“Salmaan has established himself as a talented lock and captain since his younger days in our junior [Springbok] structures and has continued to show his class at senior level,” Bok coach Jacques Nienaber said on Tuesday.

“His call-up is well earned, and we are looking forward to witnessing what he adds to the squad. He is also familiar with most of the players in the squad having either played with them or against them, so we have no doubt he will slot in with ease.”

Stormers second row Salmaan Moerat is one of two uncapped players named

Stormers second row Salmaan Moerat is one of two uncapped players named

Nienaber has otherwise kept the core of the squad that played the Lions series and in the Rugby Championship – a group he clearly believes will feature when they defend their title at the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

“We are two years out from the World Cup in France, and we have close to 20 Test matches before we start our defence of the title, so every match will count in terms of building confidence and consistency as a group,” he said.

Nienaber expects the home nations to be fierce competitors, especially after the hotly-contested and at times controversial Lions series.

“England are in fourth place on the world rankings, and Scotland and Wales are in seventh and ninth place respectively, and they are all top-class teams that will want to make a strong statement in front of their home crowds,” he said.

De Klerk is likely to be out for some time after sustaining a serious hip injury

De Klerk is likely to be out for some time after sustaining a serious hip injury

The Boks start their tour against Wales on November 6, before matches in Edinburgh and London on consecutive weekends.

South Africa’s 32-man autumn squad:

Forwards (18);

Thomas du Toit, Steven Kitshoff, Vincent Koch, Ox Nche, Trevor Nyakane, Joseph Dweba, Malcolm Marx, Bongi Mbonambi, Lood de Jager, Eben Etzebeth, Salmaan Moerat, Marvin Orie, Siya Kolisi, Kwagga Smith, Marco van Staden, Duane Vermeulen, Jasper Wiese, Franco Mostert

Backs (14);

Herschel Jantjies, Cobus Reinach, Grant Williams, Elton Jantjies, Handre Pollard, Lukhanyo Am, Damian de Allende, Jesse Kriel, Aphelele Fassi, Willie le Roux, Makazole Mapimpi, Sbu Nkosi, Damian Willemse, Frans Steyn.

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