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SPRINGBOK coach Peter de Villiers has decided to call on the big guns for Saturday's clash with France at Newlands Stadium in Cape Town.
De Villiers was not altogether happy with the form of some of the northern hemisphere- based players last weekend against Wales and has reverted to those who have served him so well over the past 18 months.
Frans Steyn, Odwa Ndungane, Joe van Niekerk and CJ van der Linde have been dropped from the team that beat Wales 34-31 at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff on Saturday.
Bakkies Botha, who has completed his suspension for foul play, Pierre Spies, Morne Steyn, Bryan Habana, Schalk Burger, Wynand Oliver and Gurthro Steenkamp are back in the fray. The squad of 27 will also be used for the two-Test series against Italy starting on June 19.
After Saturday's game, De Villiers openly criticised the form of Steyn, who now plays his club rugby at French side Racing Metro.
"If you really watch the Test (against Wales) closely you'll notice that the overseas-based players are off the boil. They don't have the speed to match the South African-based players.
"They're not at the same level as the guys who play their rugby here. If players aren't competing in the Super 14 they aren't going to be ready to compete against the world's best," De Villiers said in a television interview after his return to South Africa.
Towering Bulls lock Flip van der Merwe, who was in impressive form throughout the Super 14 campaign in the absence of Botha, gets a deserved call-up.