Bird boost for Australia

Australia fast bowler Jackson Bird has been declared fit for the tour of South Africa after overcoming a back injury.

The Tasmanian has been undergoing treatment after jarring his back in a Big Bash League game last week.

But he will now join up with the rest of the Australia squad after proving his fitness in the nets in Hobart on Wednesday when he was watched by coach Darren Lehmann and selector Rod Marsh.

He will fly out to South Africa on Friday along with all-rounder Moises Henriques who is replacing the injured James Faulkner.

Batsman Shaun Marsh has also been ruled out of the tour with a calf strain and Phil Hughes has been called up as his replacement.

The remainder of the 15-man Australia squad departed on Wednesday ahead of their only warm-up match which starts on February 5 in Potchefstroom.

The three-Test series gets under way in Centurion on February 12.

Meanwhile, veteran batsman Brad Hodge has been called into the Australia squad for the final two Twenty20 internationals against England as a replacement for Henriques.