World Cup winner CJ van der Linde is back in the international fold
Leinster's CJ van der Linde has been named in the South African matchday squad to face France this Friday.
The 29-year-old has been recalled to the Springbok set up after Jannie du Plessis was forced out of the European tour following last week's defeat to Leicester Tigers at Welford Road.
Van der Linde hasn't played for his country since a Tri Nations clash with Australia in 2008 but is now in line to win his 57th Test cap after being selected among the replacements for the Test in Toulouse.
The inclusion of the former Cheetahs star creates a break with recent South African tradition that has seen only players plying their trade in their home country selected to play for the Springboks.
Both Francois Steyn and Munster's Jean de Villiers have been Springbok regulars in recent years but their summer moves to the Top 14 and the Magners League have put their international careers on hold.
But the about-turn surrounding van der Linde's availability may give other big-name players contracted to overseas clubs hope of returning to national colours sooner rather than later.
Van der Linde joined current Heineken Cup holders Leinster at the beginning of last season and made an immediate impression with the Dubliners.
A knee injury has since forced him to miss a large chunk of action, however, and Leinster coach Michael Cheika may well be glad that his giant prop could pick up valuable game time over the coming month.
The World Champion Boks take on Italy, Ireland and Saracens after their trip to France and their front-row injury crisis is likely to see van der Linde involved in most of the matchday squads.
South Africa vs France, Friday, November 13, Toulouse
South Africa: Z Kirchner (Bulls); JP Pietersen (Sharks), J Fourie (Lions), A Jacobs (Sharks), B Habana (Bulls); M Steyn (Bulls), F du Preez (Bulls); T Mtawarira (Sharks), B du Plessis (Sharks), J Smit (Sharks, capt), B Botha (Bulls), V Matfield (Bulls), H Brussow (Free State Cheetahs), S Burger (Stormers), R Kankowski (Sharks)
Replacements: A Strauss (Free State Cheetahs), W du Preez (Free State Cheetahs), CJ van der Linde (Leinster), A Bekker (Stormers), D Rossouw (Bulls), R Pienaar (Sharks), W Olivier (Bulls)
France: D Traille (Biarritz); V Clerc (Toulouse), Y David (Toulouse), M Mermoz (Perpignan), C Heymans (Toulouse); F Trinh-Duc (Montpellier), J Dupuy (Stade Français); F Barcella (Biarritz), W Servat (Toulouse), N Mas (Perpignan), L Nallet (Racing-Metro), R Millo-Chluski (Toulouse), T Dusautoir (Toulouse, capt), I Harinordoquy (Biarritz), L Picamoles (Toulouse)
Replacements: D Szarzewzski (Stade Français), S Marconnet (Stade Français), S Chabal (Racing-Metro), J Bonnaire (Clermont), M Parra (Clermont), D Marty (Perpignan), M Medard (Toulouse), T Domingo (Clermont)
As part of the build-up to next month's Cardiff 2014 Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup finals weekend, ERC has joined forces with the WRU, Cardiff Blues and adidas to develop an annual grassroots community rugby programme targeting young players.
The Ulster Rugby full back, Jared Payne (No 15), has been suspended for two (2) weeks following an independent Disciplinary Hearing in Dublin arising from the Heineken Cup quarter-final match against Saracens at Ravenhill Stadium on Saturday, 5 April.