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Juandre Kruger

Barbarians RugbyJuandré KrugerJuandre Kruger has been added to the Barbarians squad to face England on June 1, a week before he is set to face his home-nation as part of the World XV.

The Barbarians game can be viewed as a warm-up match for a number of players who feature in both Dean Ryan’s Baa-Baas and Nick Mallett’s World XV

Juandre Kruger, Hosea Gear, James O’Connor, Francois Trinh-Duc, Rene Ranger, Schalk Ferreira, Mamuka Gorgodze, Sona Taumalolo, Jimmy Cowan, Andrew Hore, Alexandre Lapandry, Roger Wilson, Joe Tekori will all feature in both invitational teams.

Head coach Dean Ryan has at his disposal an experienced group totalling more than 700 international caps.

A dozen players have been added to the initial Barbarians group including Ireland lock Donncha O’Callaghan, France fly half Francois Trinh-Duc, South Africa second row Juandre Kruger and Argentina full back Juan Martin Hernandez.

Nine different nations are represented – six New Zealanders joined by players from Argentina, Australia, France, South Africa, Georgia, Ireland, Samoa and Tonga – and 19 players are set to wear the club’s famous black and white hooped shirt for the first time.

“It is a testimony to the special appeal the Barbarians has throughout the rugby world that we have been able to bring together such an experienced and talented squad of players,” head coach Ryan said.

“It’s a privilege to be able to work with a group who have achieved so much and we’re looking forward to taking on a young England side at Twickenham next Sunday.”

There is one change to the group of players previously announced with Castres-bound All Black Sitiveni Sivivatu now unavailable.


Barbarians squad:

Backs: Jimmy Cowan, Tomas Cubelli, Hosea Gear, Juan Martin Hernandez, Brock James, James O’Connor, Rene Ranger, Joe Rokocoko, Benson Stanley, Francois Trinh-Duc.
Forwards: Julien Brugnaut, Schalk Ferreira, Mamuka Gorgodze, Andrew Hore, Juandre Kruger, Alexandre Lapandry, Juan Manuel Leguizamon, Nahuel Lobo, Donncha O’Callaghan, Ti‘i Paulo, Sona Taumalolo, Joe Tekori, Roger Wilson, Davit Zirakashvili.

Schalk BritsRory KockottNick MallettFormer DHL Western Province favourite Schalk Brits will return to Newlands along with rising French-based star, Rory Kockott, as 2 of 6 South Africans, four of whom have played test rugby, as part of the Samsung-sponsored World XV squad for their match against Heyneke Meyer’s Springboks at DHL Newlands on 7 June.

All 6 of these South Africans play their rugby abroad and have been released by their clubs for this match.

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South AfricaIt was a balmy Brisbane which greeted the Springboks on Sunday evening (Australian time) after a trip of more than 20 hours that started in Johannesburg on Saturday afternoon, included a stopover in Sydney and ended at their hotel in the Queensland capital.

The Springboks face Australia in the third round of The Castle Lager Rugby Championship at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday. Although the South Africans have not beaten the hosts at this venue in a Test, they will approach the game with a quiet confidence after two good wins over Argentina last month.

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South AfricaThere was much annoyance among Springbok fans when it was announced not long before South Africa’s test match against Argentina in the Rugby Championship that the release of Bryan Habana was required by his new club Toulon.  This increased even more when it came to light that five of the players in the current Springbok Squad for the Rugby Championship were being ‘released’ to go back to their clubs in France while the rest of the players would return for a break to South Africa.

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Willem Alberts remains a doubtful starter for Saturday’s final test against England but the Springbok training session at Grey’s High on Monday brought some much needed tidings of joy for coach Heyneke Meyer.

Lock Juandre Kruger was assumed to be in doubt for the Nelson Mandela Stadium game here in Port Elizabeth after being carried off the field during the second test in Johannesburg with what was assumed to be a serious neck injury.

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There may be an upside in that the depth of his squad will now be tested in a dead-rubber test, but Heyneke Meyer’s plans to use the final match against England at Nelson Mandela Stadium as a build-up or dress-rehearsal for The Rugby Championship look set to be disrupted.

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