Shot of young blood for Boks

2010-12-01 15:29

The Springboks have loaded their team with youngsters as they prepare to take on the Barbarians in the team’s last rugby match of the season at Twickenham on Saturday.

Springbok coach Peter de Villiers has given Cheetahs’ prop Coenie Oosthuizen, Lions’ flyhalf Elton Jantjies and the Sharks’ Andries Strauss the opportunity to run out in the green and gold for the first time.

Charl McLeod will be hoping to make his Springbok debut from the bench.

“The newcomers have been waiting for their chance and will bring energy and enthusiasm to the line-up at the end of a long season,” De Villiers said in announcing the team today.

“They have trained well and been patient throughout the tour and this is their chance to show what they can do,” he said.
Oosthuizen, Jantjies and McLeod have been on tour from day one.

Strauss received a late call-up on Tuesday when fullback Zane Kirchner was withdrawn because of injury.

This forced De Villiers to start Patrick Lambie at fullback, where he and Jantjies combined well for the national under-20 squad at the World Championships earlier this year.

“They are exciting talents [Lambie and Jantjies] and this way they both get maximum opportunity in the match,” said De Villiers.

“But, I’ve stressed to them and to all of the team that this match is not about personal performance but about performing as a team. If they do that, they will all be successful.” No less than 12 changes have been made to the team that beat England last week.

Seven of the changes were made because of injuries. Ruan Pienaar and Francois Steyn had to return to their clubs.

De Villiers also decided to go with an all-Cheetahs frontrow, promoting Adrian Strauss from the bench to give regular starter Bismarck du Plessis a break.

Strauss will be joined by Oosthuizen and CJ van der Linde.

In the second-row, Alistair Hargreaves slots in next to Bakkies Botha while Willem Alberts’ form has earned him a start in the number six jersey.

Ryan Kankowski returns to the back of the scrum to replace Pierre Spies.

De Villiers will also give late call-ups Odwa Ndungane and Bandise Maku some game time, while Adrian Jacobs was rewarded for his good performance last week.

Ndungane will start on the wing in Gio Aplon’s place with the latter dropping to the bench.

The Springboks have won three and lost three of their six meetings with the Barbarians since the first game in 1952.

De Villiers said the Springboks faced another tough challenge this week.

“The Barbarians have brought together a very exciting team that is definitely made to play rugby in the traditional Barbarian style,” he said.

“Nick [Mallett, Barbarians coach] will have taken note of what is an untried backline combination and there’s no doubt he’ll be focusing his attention there.

“But, Juan Smith [Springbok captain] and the players are determined to maintain the improvements of this tour and this game is set to be a fascinating contest.”

» Team: Patrick Lambie, Odwa Ndungane, Adi Jacobs, Andries Strauss, Lwazi Mvovo, Elton Jantjies, Francois Hougaard, Ryan Kankowski, Juan Smith (capt), Willem Alberts, Alistair Hargreaves, Bakkies Botha, CJ van der Linde, Adriaan Strauss, Coenie Oosthuizen.

Replacements: Bandise Maku, Tendai Mtawarira, (tbc), Flip van der Merwe, Keegan Daniel, Charl McLeod, Gio Aplon.

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