South Africa coach Peter De Villiers has gone with experience over youth as he named a strong 30 man squad for the Rugby World Cup.
John Smit will once again lead the world champions to defend their title in New Zealand along with 17 other surviving players from the 07 tournament where they beat England 15-6 to capture the Webb Ellis trophy.
One selection which raised eyebrows was Odwa Ndungane getting the nod ahead of fellow Sharks winger Lwazi Mvovo. New Bath signing Francois Louw was also selected ahead of Ashley Johnson.
Speaking at the squads announcement De Villiers said “The squad has a backbone of proven title-winning ability and experience as well as a strong component of new stars.
“Injury has denied us one or two players who could have been very important to us, but I am very happy with the squad we have picked.
“We have good coverage for every position and front-line players who have shown over the past half-dozen seasons that they know how to win big games.”
South Africa open their defence of the World Cup against Wales in Wellington on September 11th.
South Africa squad: Willem Alberts, Gio Aplon, Bakkies Botha, Heinrich Brussow, Schalk Burger, Juan de Jongh, Jean de Villiers, Bismarck du Plessis, Jannie du Plessis, Fourie du Preez, Jaque Fourie, Bryan Habana, Francois Hougaard, Butch James, Pat Lambie, Francois Louw, Victor Matfield (vice-captain), Tendai Mtawarira, Johann Muller, Odwa Ndungane, Ruan Pienaar, JP Pietersen, Chiliboy Ralepelle, Danie Rossouw, John Smit (captain), Pierre Spies, Gurthro Steenkamp, Frans Steyn, Morne Steyn, CJ van der Linde.