ENGLAND-BASED Zimbabwean rugby player Brian Mujati will not be part of the South African national squad that is expected to tour Europe beginning this Saturday, Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer said yesterday.
By the Sports Reporter
Speculation had been rife that the Bulawayo-born tighthead prop would be included in the Springbok 32-member squad for matches against Ireland on Saturday, Scotland (November 10) and England on November 24.
However, Meyer, while singing Mujati’s praises, yesterday confirmed that new South African Rugby Union (SARU) rules extended to the national team had prevented the 28-year-old former Peterhouse player’s call-up.
Instead, Meyer opted for Ireland-based South African prop Heinke van der Merwe.
The former Lions and Western Province star Mujati played 12 Tests for the Boks in 2008, swopped South Africa for England in 2009 and currently plies his trade with Northampton Saints.
According to media reports from South Africa, Meyer was looking to add Mujati to his squad, expected to leave for Europe today.
However, new SARU rules extended to selection of the national team, preclude Mujati from being picked. He is not a South African passport holder.
Former Bok coach Peter de Villiers also debated picking the prop ahead of last year’s Rugby World Cup, but was unable to do so.
Another Zimbabwe-born player Tendai “Beast” Mtawarira has been included in the Springbok squad for Europe.