Div names predictable Bok team

2010-08-18 00:00

SPRINGBOK coach Peter de Villiers announced an entirely predictable team, apart from naming injured lock Danie Rossouw on the bench, for Saturday’s Tri-Nations Test against the All Blacks in Soweto.

De Villiers has made eight changes to the team that started against the Wallabies in Brisbane with only two backs, wing Bryan Habana and flyhalf Morné Steyn, retaining their places.

The Bok coach is hoping that the young Bulls scrumhalf, Francois Hougaard, who has played most of his rugby on the wing in recent seasons, will settle in quickly in his first start at scrumhalf.

“Francois has a strong head and a good rugby brain and we’re looking for someone to bring something extra to the team,” said De Villiers. “I’m excited about seeing him try and cement his place in the starting team.”

The hip injury last week to Rossouw is a blow to the Boks and has resulted in fiery young lock Flip van der Merwe being promoted to the starting line-up.

“I just want to make sure that we have a good start,” said De Villiers. “Danie Rossouw was able to start, but I think it is the right decision to have him coming off the bench.”

In the other changes to the pack, tall flank Juan Smith, who missed the Tri-Nations tour for personal reasons, is back for Ryan Kankowski, who played out of position in Brisbane, while tighthead Jannie du Plessis, over his calf strain, returns for BJ Botha.

But in naming a young backline with five changes, De Villiers will field new combinations at halfback (Hougaard and Steyn) and in midfield (Jean de Villiers and Juan de Jongh) while wing JP Pietersen takes over from Gio Aplon, who switches to fullback in place of Zane Kirchner.

“We’re looking forward to the match,” said vice-captain Victor Matfield at the team announcement. “It will be a massive occasion in front of the biggest crowd we have faced.”

The occasion will mark John Smit’s 100th Test.

Matfield said victory is the Boks’ priority.

“I think it’s a great achievement for John, who is a guy everyone in SA looks up to. John would like to focus on the game and win it, then we can enjoy it afterwards which will make the occasion even more special for him”.

Matfield said the Boks had only played to “about 70% of our potential” on the away leg of the Tri-Nations series.

“We know we can beat the All Blacks if we are at our best.”

Juan Smith told reporters that the forwards will have to lay the platform and help “the new players in the backline”.

“The guys know that they haven’t played to their potential this year and we have a lot of pride to play for.”

He said he sees no problem in playing without a fetcher among the loose forwards.

“I have played with Schalk Burger and Pierre Spies for four years, so the fact that I’ve missed the first seven Tests this year shouldn’t make a difference.

“I also don’t think there should be any concern about the make-up of the loose trio. We’ve all been playing under these laws in the Super 14 and understand what we have to do as a combination,” Smith said.

The All Blacks have made two changes with fit-again scrumhalf Jimmy Cowan and tighthead Ben Franks named in the starting line-up. Cowan replaces Piri Weepu at scrumhalf while Franks comes in for his brother Owen, who drops out of the squad.

Prop John Afoa joins the bench along with exciting fullback Israel Dagg.




15. Gio Aplon, 14. JP Pietersen, 13. Juan de Jongh, 12. Jean de Villiers, 11. Bryan Habana, 10. Morné Steyn, 9. Francois Hougaard, 8. Pierre Spies, 7. Juan Smith, 6. Schalk Burger, 5. Victor Matfield, 4. Flip van der Merwe, 3. Jannie du Plessis, 2. John Smit, 1. Gurthrö Steenkamp

Replacements: 16. Chiliboy Ralepelle, 17. CJ van der Linde, 18. Danie Rossouw, 19. Francois Louw, 20. Ricky Januarie, 21. Butch James, 22. Wynand Olivier

All Blacks:

15. Mils Muliaina, 14. Cory Jane, 13. Conrad Smith, 12. Ma’a Nonu, 11. Josevata Rokocoko, 10. Daniel Carter, 9. Jimmy Cowan, 8. Kieran Read, 7. Richie McCaw (captain), 6. Jerome Kaino, 5. Tom Donnelly, 4. Brad Thorn, 3. Ben Franks, 2. Keven Mealamu, 1. Tony Woodcock.

Replacements: 16. Corey Flynn, 17. John Afoa, 18. Samuel Whitelock, 19. Victor Vito, 20. Piri Weepu, 21. Aaron Cruden, 22. Israel Dagg

Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales).

Assistant referees: Alain Rolland (Ireland), Simon McDowell (Ireland).

TMO: Shaun Veldsman (South Africa)

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