Johannesburg – South Africa have recalled back-row forward Duane Vermeulen and utility back Francois Steyn for two Rugby Championship home matches against New Zealand during August.
Both veterans have recovered from injuries that ruled them out of a series against Wales this month, which the Springboks won 2-1.
Vermeulen, 36, had a knee operation while Steyn, 35, suffered a hamstring injury, which prevented them being involved in the first three Tests of the 2022 season.
Both were in the South Africa matchday 23 that won the Rugby World Cup in Japan three years ago by defeating England 32-12 in the final in Japan.
“Duane and Frans are very experienced players and have valuable traits that they bring to the field of play,” said coach Jacques Nienaber.
“So we are excited to welcome them into the fold. This will offer the coaches and medical staff a good opportunity to determine where they are in terms of their rugby.”
Star wing Cheslin Kolbe was unavailable after breaking his jaw in the final match against Wales and another wing, Aphelele Fassi, and back-row forward Marcell Coetzee have been dropped.
“It is disappointing for Aphelele and Marcell, but we were limited in how many players we could select,” added Nienaber.
“That said, we know what both of them can do on the field and we have a big picture in mind with the Rugby World Cup next year.”
The Springboks face the All Blacks in the northeastern city of Mbombela on August 6 and at Ellis Park in Johannesburg seven days later.
After the New Zealand Tests, South Africa play twice in Australia, then away and home against Argentina in the Championship before tour matches against Ireland, France, Italy and England during November.
Forwards: Thomas du Toit, Steven Kitshoff, Vincent Koch, Frans Malherbe, Ntuthuko Mchunu, Ox Nche, Trevor Nyakane, Joseph Dweba, Malcolm Marx, Bongi Mbonambi, Lood de Jager, Eben Etzebeth, Salmaan Moerat, Ruan Nortje, Marvin Orie, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Siya Kolisi (capt), Elrigh Louw, Evan Roos, Kwagga Smith, Duanve Vermeulen, Jasper Wiese, Rynhardt Elstadt, Deon Fourie, Franco Mostert
Backs: Faf de Klerk, Jaden Hendrikse, Herschel Jantjies, Grant Williams, Elton Jantjies, Handre Pollard, Lukhanyo Am, Damian de Allende, Andre Esterhuizen, Jesse Kriel, Warrick Gelant, Willie le Roux, Makazole Mapimpi, Francois Steyn, Kurt-Lee Arendse, Damian Willemse
Coach: Jacques Nienaber (RSA)
Picture: Getty Images