BATH flanker Francois Louw has been included in South Africa's 31-man World Cup squad.

Louw is recovering from a shoulder injury but has been named alongside the likes of cap centurions Victor Matfield, Bryan Habana and Jean de Villiers, with centre De Villiers captaining the Springboks.

Scrum-half Rudy Paige is the solitary uncapped player named, with lock Matfield and flanker Schalk Burger taking part in their fourth World Cup, although 16 of the squad have never previously played in rugby union's global showpiece.

The squad also includes Saracens hooker Schalk Brits and Ulster scrum-half Ruan Pienaar.

Along with Louw, De Villiers (fractured jaw), Duane Vermeulen (neck), Jannie du Plessis (knee), Fourie du Preez (knee), Willie le Roux (ankle) and Coenie Oosthuizen (neck) are all recovering from various injuries, but the Springboks say they are close to full match fitness.

"The best medical scenarios were taken into consideration with the selection process," Meyer added.

"Our medical team have worked incredibly hard with these players, and we're confident they will be ready to be considered to play Japan."

South Africa open their World Cup campaign against Japan in Brighton on September 19, while they also face pool appointments with Scotland, Samoa and the United States.

Louw's Bath teammates George Ford, Anthony Watson, Jonathan Joseph, Rob Webber, David Wilson and Sam Burgess were yesterday named in England's 31-man squad