Meyer names four debutants for England clash

2012-06-06 12:50

Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer has named four debutants in the team that will face England in the first Test on Saturday.

The side is a hybrid of explosive youth and experience as Meyer has gone for a team that will be able to mix it with the physical and abrasive English.

There are only 10 players from the side that lost the Rugby World Cup quarterfinal against Australia last year.

Sharks flank Marcell Coetzee, and locks Juandre Kruger and Eben Etzebeth, have been handed starts on their debut. Coetzee will be playing his first Test at his Kings Park home ground.

The front row has no surprises with the Sharks trio – Tendai Mtawarira, Bismarck du Plessis and Jannie du Plessis – getting the nod. Willem Alberts and Pierre Spies complete the forwards.

In the absence of an out-and-out fetcher, the onus will be on Du Plessis to force the turnovers. Perhaps the surprise inclusion in the back is Zane Kirchner ahead of Patrick Lambie at fullback. While both players fit in well with the kick-chase tactic, they are not counterattacking specialists, but Lambie offers an additional place-kicking option.

Francois Hougaard partners Morne Steyn at halfback and Captain Jean de Villiers moves to outside centre to accommodate Frans Steyn on his inside.

There are no surprises on the bench and Meyer has gone for a four-three forwards and backs split.

Cheetahs prop Coenie Oosthuizen is in line to make his debut off the bench, while Sharks Captain Keegan Daniel’s superb domestic form has been rewarded with a spot on the bench.

South Africa: 15 Zane Kirchner, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Jean de Villiers (captain), 12 Frans Steyn, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 Pierre Spies, 7 Willem Alberts, 6 Marcell Coetzee, 5 Juandré Kruger, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Tendai Mtawarira

Substitutes: 16 Adriaan Strauss, 17 Coenie Oosthuizen, 18 Flip van der Merwe, 19 Keegan Daniel, 20 Ruan Pienaar, 21 Pat Lambie, 22 Wynand Olivier

England: To be announced

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