Springboks

Serfontein ready for Roberts

Jan Serfontein (Gallo Images)
Jan Serfontein (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - Springbok midfielder Jan Serfontein says he is ready for the challenge of tackling Wales' big inside centre, Jamie Roberts.

Serfontein, 21, will get his chance in the starting line-up against the Welsh at Kings Park in Durban on Saturday.

He got his chance after Frans Steyn's shock withdrawal earlier this week. It will be the first time Serfontein starts a Test, having represented his country nine times off the bench last year.

Serfontein's direct opponent on Saturday will be Roberts, who is an imposing figure of 1.93m and 110kg.

However, the young Bulls midfielder is confident that he will be able to stand up to the massive physical battle that awaits.

"Jamie Roberts is a big centre and weighs more than 100kg. Wales will obviously use him off first phase ball to get on the front foot, but I think we are well prepared for that. We've looked at our defence and it went well," Serfontein told the Volksblad website.

Serfontein said playing alongside flyhalf Morné Steyn will make things a bit easier.

"I also played alongside him in Super Rugby (for the Bulls) last year. Me and Morné understand each other well on attack and defence."

Roberts, who has played 58 Tests for Wales and three for the British and Irish Lions, said he was impressed when he first saw Serfontein play at the Junior World Championship two years ago.

Kick-off for Saturday's first Test is scheduled for 17:05.

Teams:

Springboks:
15 Willie le Roux, 14 Cornal Hendricks, 13 JP Pietersen, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Fourie du Preez, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Willem Alberts, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Victor Matfield (captain), 4 Bakkies Botha, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Gurthrö Steenkamp

Substitutes: 16 Schalk Brits, 17 Tendai Mtawarira, 18 Coenie Oosthuizen, 19 Lood de Jager, 20 Schalk Burger, 21 Ruan Pienaar, 22 Johan Goosen, 23 Lwazi Mvovo

Wales:
15 Liam Williams, 14 Alex Cuthbert, 13 Jonathan Davies, 12 Jamie Roberts, 11 George North, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Mike Phillips, 8 Taulupe Faletau, 7 Aaron Shingler, 6 Dan Lydiate, 5 Alun Wyn Jones (captain), 4 Luke Charteris, 3 Adam Jones, 2 Ken Owens, 1 Gethin Jenkins

Substitutes: 16 Matthew Rees, 17 Paul James, 18 Samson Lee, 19 Ian Evans, 20 Josh Turnbull, 21 Gareth Davies, 22 James Hook, 23 Matthew Morgan
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