Strauss to join Boks vs Barbarians

2010-12-01 00:00

Uncapped centre Andries Strauss, who had an excellent Currie Cup season with the Sharks, has been called up to join the Springboks in London ahead of Saturday’s international against the Barbarians.

Strauss, who will join the Boks today, has replaced fullback Zane Kirchner who suffered a concussion and a mild elbow sprain in the 21-11 victory over England at the weekend and left the field after 47 minutes.

The hard-tackling Strauss has left the Sharks and has returned to the Free State for the 2011 season.

Springbok coach Peter de Villiers said yesterday, “We have alternatives for fullback in the squad in Gio Aplon and Patrick Lambie, but are short on centres.

“Andries had a great Currie Cup season for the Sharks and has played his way to this opportunity.”

The Springboks lost both Saturday’s centres in Jean de Villiers (groin injury) and Frans Steyn (back with his French club).

The Boks’ young backs, among them 20-year-olds Lambie and Elton Jantjies, will bump the most exciting attackers in world rugby on Saturday.

Former Springbok coach Nick Mallett yesterday named his Barbarian starting line-up and included most of the Wallaby backs who humbled France 59-16 on Saturday night.

In just half-an-hour of flamboyant rugby, the Wallabies rushed in six tries and 49 points against the French. James O’Connor, Drew Mitchell, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Will Genia and Matt Giteau, who will captain the side, will be hoping to repeat their form against the young Springboks.

All Blacks Ma’a Nonu and Joe Rococoko complete a start-studded backline.

The pack is not as formidable as the backline, but is still crowded with internationals. Wallabies Stephen Moore and Neemia Tialata join Salvatore Perugini of Italy and Martyn Williams of Wales.

All Black hooker Keven Mealamu, banned for two weeks for headbutting England captain Lewis Moody, returns to the scene of his crime while there are two uncapped players in New Zealand number eight Colin Bourke and Western Province lock Anton van Zyl.

The Springboks will name their team today and only have 23 available players. All nine backs on tour are certain to be in the 22-man match squad, but Jantjies is likely to be at flyhalf ahead of the more versatile Lambie.

All the players who have been carrying tackling bags for the past five weeks will be given a run and, with three hookers in the tour squad, logic suggests that the Sharks’ bustling Bismarck du Plessis, after his heroics in the Tests and the Currie Cup, should be the one player rested on Saturday.

Kick-off is at 4.30pm on Saturday and Frenchman Pascal Gauzere will referee the international.

Barbarian team: James O’Connor (Aus), Joe Rococoko (NZ), Drew Mitchell (Aus), Adam Ashley-Cooper (Aus), Ma’a Nonu (NZ), Matt Giteau (Aus, capt), Will Genia (Aus), Salvatore Perugini (It), Stephen Moore (Aus), Neemia Tialata (NZ), Anton van Zyl (Stormers), Chris Jack (NZ), Rodney So’oialo (NZ), Martyn Williams (Wales), Colin Bourke (Chiefs).

Replacements: Keven Mealamu (NZ), John Yapp (Wales), Quintin Geldenhuys (It), Daniel Braid (NZ), Andy Ellis (NZ), Stephen Donald (NZ), Seru Rabeni (Fij).

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