Springboks add 13 players to Rugby Championship training group

Francois Louw, of Bath Rugby, joined the Springboks training camp after playing for the Barbarians against England at Twickenham. Tony Marshall/Getty Images

Duane Vermeulen, Handre Pollard, Lukhanyo Am, Sibusiso Nkosi and Francois Louw are among a group of 13 players added to the Springboks training group in Pretoria in preparation of the Rugby Championship.

Bulls and Sharks players were added one week after their teams completed their Super Rugby campiagns in defeat at the quarterfinals stage, while Louw joined after playing for the Barbarians against England at Twickenham.

The squad has been in camp since the previous weekend, and is now includes 39 players.

Ruan Botha (foot surgery), Dan du Preez (rib fracture), Warren Whiteley (knee surgery), Damian Willemse (knee surgery) and Jan Serfontein (ankle surgery) were not considered for the training camp due to injury.

Rassie Erasmus, the SA Rugby Director of Rugby, said that he and the Springboks coaches were very pleased with the amount of work they had been able to do with the group during the first week in Pretoria. "After our series of alignment camps, it was great to get the available group of players together and to get going with our field sessions," Erasmus said in a statement issued by SA Rugby.

"Kwagga Smith has recovered from his hamstring strain and was cleared to return to training, which meant that we were able to have 25 players available for our daily field training sessions. Our captain, Siya Kolisi, is continuing with his rehabilitation, and the aim is to have him ready in time for the start of the Rugby Championship."

The Springboks will kick off their abbreviated Rugby Championship campaign against Australia in Johannesburg on July 20, followed a week later by a Test against New Zealand in Wellington -- the scene of last year's epic away-win against the All Blacks.

The Boks will conclude their campaign against Argentina two weeks later, in Salta on August 10.

South Africa then will play the Pumas again in a one-off Test in Pretoria a week later before the Springboks report for Rugby World Cup training duty.

The Springboks training group now consist of the following players:

Forwards: Schalk Brits (Bulls), Marcell Coetzee (Ulster, Ireland), Lood de Jager (Bulls), Thomas du Toit (Sharks), Pieter-Steph du Toit (Stormers), Rynardt Elstadt (Toulouse, France), Eben Etzebeth (Stormers), Lizo Gqoboka (Bulls), Steven Kitshoff (Stormers), Vincent Koch (Saracens, England), Siya Kolisi (Stormers), Francois Louw (Bath Rugby, England), Frans Malherbe (Stormers), Malcolm Marx (Lions), Bongi Mbonambi (Stormers), Tendai Mtawarira (Sharks), Franco Mostert (Gloucester, England), Trevor Nyakane (Bulls), Marvin Orie (Lions), Kwagga Smith (Lions), R.G. Snyman (Bulls), Duane Vermeulen (Bulls).

Backs: Lukhanyo Am (Sharks), Damian de Allende (Stormers), Andre Esterhuizen (Sharks), Faf de Klerk (Sale Sharks, England), Aphiwe Dyantyi (Lions), Warrick Gelant (Bulls), Elton Jantjies (Lions), Herschel Jantjies (Stormers), Cheslin Kolbe (Toulouse, France), Jesse Kriel (Bulls), Dillyn Lleyds (Stormers), Makazole Mapimpi (Sharks), Sibusiso Nkosi (Sharks), Willie le Roux (Toyota Verblitz, Japan), Handre Pollard (Bulls), Cobus Reinach (Northampton Saints, England), Frans Steyn (Montpellier, France).