JOHANNESBURG: World champions South Africa will play Ireland, France, Italy and England in November without a specialist Test fly-half, with utility back Damian Willemse set to fill the gap. A 35-man squad for the internationals in Dublin, Marseille, Genoa and London was named on Friday with Willemse and uncapped Manie Libbok listed as the fly-halves. First-choice playmaker Handre Pollard is ruled out due to injury and his regular understudy, Elton Jantjies, is unavailable due to a lack of game time and personal problems. Vastly experienced utility back Francois Steyn, who wore the No. 10 shirt when the Springboks beat Argentina in their last Test a month ago, is also injured. Pollard, whose goal-kicking was instrumental in South Africa winning the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan, was injured midway through the Rugby Championship. Willemse, who can also perform as a full-back, winger and centre, deputised in away victories over Australia and Argentina, and received rave reviews. The one concern about Willemse, who seems certain to start against Ireland, the top-ranked Test team, is his erratic goal-kicking. “We are very comfortable with Damian, who proved himself in the couple of Tests he played at fly-half,” said head coach Jacques Nienaber. “We are facing three of the top five teams in the world in Ireland, France and England, and we are building our squad for the World Cup next year at the same time,” added Nienaber. “It is important to maintain consistency in selection while also rewarding a few talented young players for their steady form this season. “A few key players were ruled out due to injury, but we know what we have in them, and it has granted us an opportunity to see what the next generation of players can do.” Libbok has been included in the squad for the first time after a series of excellent performances for the Stormers in the United Rugby Championship. While his goal-kicking is superior to that of Willemse, partly because he performs the key duty when both play for the Stormers, there are questions about his free-spirited approach. “The main argument against selecting Libbok may be the degree to which the highly structured Springbok game plan will shackle such a free spirit,” noted the Johannesburg Sunday Times. Libbok and another Stormer, utility back Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu, are the new faces in a squad that lacks star centreLukhanyo Am, a long-term injury victim. Another star, Toulon winger Cheslin Kolbe, is back after breaking his jaw in a Test series-clinching victory over Wales in July. Another returnee is Ireland-based lock Jason Jenkins after a four-year absence from the Springbok squad. “Manie and Sacha have shown what they are capable of at United Rugby Championship and junior Springbok level,” said Nienaber. “Jason has been in fine form for Leinster, and we are thrilled to see them being called up to what is a largely settled squad.” Apart from the Tests on consecutive Saturdays from November 5, a South Africa A side will play Munster on November 10 and the Bristol Bears seven days later.