Bird to fly in after being passed fit

TASMANIAN paceman Jackson Bird has passed a fitness test and will be part of Australia's squad for the three-Test series against South Africa next month.

Bird was in doubt for the tour after he injured his back fielding for the Melbourne Stars in the Big Bash League last week. He will leave for the Republic today.

Meanwhile, all-rounders Wayne Parnell and Ryan McLaren will have huge shoes to fill after they were named in the Proteas' 15-man squad as possible replacements for retired Jacques Kallis. The world No.1 Test team's squad also includes wicketkeeper-batsman AB de Villiers, who had surgery to remove a steel plate in his left hand earlier this month.

Fast bowler Dale Steyn, who fractured a rib in the second Test against India last month, is also expected to play.

Squad: Graeme Smith (capt), Hashim Amla, AB de Villiers, JP Duminy, Faf du Plessis, Dean Elgar, Rory Kleinveldt, Ryan McLaren, Morne Morkel, Wayne Parnell, Alviro Petersen, Robbie Peterson, Vernon Philander, Dale Steyn, Thami Tsolekile.