Six overseas-based Springboks chosen for Test match against Wales

2010-05-24 00:00

SOMETHING old, something new, something borrowed and very little blue.

That is Peter de Villiers’ Springbok recipe for the anniversary Test match against Wales at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff on June 5.

The team was named after the Bulls and Stormers had successfully and impressively downed their Autralasian opponents to set up their all-South African final to the Super 14 at the Orlando Stadium in Soweto on Saturday evening.

Springbok coach Peter de Villiers’s something old came with the 531 Test caps in the squad and a recall for former internationals Butch James and Joe van Niekerk.

The new is the introduction of three debutants, the Stormers’ Gio Aplon and Francois Louw, and Cheetahs wing Bjorn Basson, who has been named on the bench.

The borrowed are the six overseas-based players, fullback Frans Steyn, centres Jean de Villiers and James, number eight Van Niekerk and the two props, BJ Botha and CJ van der Linde.

And with the champion Bulls involved in the final on Saturday and their senior players desperate for a break, there is only a hint of blue with just two players from Pretoria — flank Dewald Potgieter and lock Danie Rossouw — in the starting line-up.

With the Bok selectors mixing and matching but unwilling to hand out Springbok caps willy-nilly, a number of players have been selected out of position. James, who has spent very little time away from flyhalf, is at inside centre and will beef up the midfield defence. Jean deVilliers, normally at No. 12, is selected at outside centre.

Ruan Pienaar, who prefers scrumhalf, is named at flyhalf and the match 22 has three tightheads (Botha, Van de Linde and Jannie du Plessis) and no specialist looseheads.

De Villiers is using the hastily arranged Test as a trial for a number of overseas Boks.

“They have an opportunity to show the selectors how they might feature in the Boks’ longer-term planning. All six of them are talented in their own right and four of them have played for the Boks in the last 12 months. Only Butch and Joe van Niekerk have not played since 2008, but they are both quality players who have been in good form for their clubs.

“Butch offers versatility in that he can play at flyhalf and he brings a physical edge to the defence, which we will need against Wales,” he added.

De Villiers has chosen five players who will start for the Stormers and Bulls in Saturday’s final. They are Aplon, Louw and towering lock Andries Bekker from the Stormers and the Bulls’ Potgieter and Rossouw.

Ricky Januarie, the Stormers’ number two scrumhalf, will partner Pienaar at halfback while another De Villiers favourite, Bulls’ third-choice hooker Chiliboy Ralepelle is on the bench.

While there was apparently an agreement that only two of the Sharks’ resting players would be used, De Villiers has named six. Wing Odwa Ndungane, Pienaar and captain and hooker John Smit will start in Cardiff, while lock Alistair Hargreaves, tighthead Jannie du Plessis and number eight Ryan Kankowski are on the bench.

The Bulls’ most senior players involved in the Super 14 final, Victor Matfield, Pierre Spies, Fourie du Preez, Morne Steyn and Wynand Olivier, will have the weekend off.

The Stormers’ Boks not considered are Bryan Habana, Jaque Fourie and Schalk Burger. All these players seem certain to be included in the Bok team to face France in Cape Town a week later (June 12).

SPRINGBOK TEAM FOR CARDIFF :

15 Frans Steyn, 14 Gio Aplon, 13 Jean de Villiers, 12 Butch James, 11 Odwa Ndungane, 10 Ruan Pienaar, 9 Ricky Januarie, 8 Joe van Niekerk, 7 Dewald Potgieter, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Andries Bekker, 4 Danie Rossouw, 3 BJ Botha, 2 John Smit (c), 1 CJ van der Linde.

Replacements: Chiliboy Ralepelle, 17 Jannie du Plessis, 18 Alistair Hargreaves, 19 Ryan Kankowski, 20 Meyer Bosman, 21 Juan de Jongh, 22 Bjorn Basson.

Super 14 semi-final round-up: see page 22.

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