Springboks

Whiteley looks to cap off perfect week

Warren Whiteley (Gallo)
Warren Whiteley (Gallo)

Cape Town - It's been some week for Warren Whiteley

On Monday morning he was present as his wife, Felicity, gave birth to his first son, Samuel.

And if that wasn't special enough, on Saturday the 29-year-old will captain his country for the first time when the Springboks host France at Loftus. 

"It was very special," Whiteley said of his son's birth. 

"I've actually been going home after training just to try and spend some time with my wife.

"That evening (of Samuel's birth) she said I could get a full night's rest so I headed back to Pretoria. I got a call from her at about 02:30 in the morning. Lucky for me I remembered to take my phone off silent, so I jumped up.

"Jaco (Kriel) woke up. He's my room-mate. But he understands.

"She phoned me and I headed back home and he was born at 09:15. It was a very exciting moment for us ... definitely the greatest blessing of all, I must say."

Whiteley says that his extended family has been very supportive this week as he prepares for Saturday's crucial clash against France. 

It is the dawn of a new era for the Boks, and Whiteley has the opportunity to be at the helm as the Boks begin their journey to restore pride to the jersey after a woeful 2016. 

"Our team preparations over the last few days have been great and we’ve had three good camps, which made the transition into Plettenberg (last week) and this week in Pretoria really smooth," he said. 

"There’s obviously a lot of excitement in the squad, it’s our first Test of the year and we have four uncapped players in the starting line-up plus another one on the bench." 

Kick-off on Saturday is at 17:00. 

Teams:

South Africa

15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Raymond Rhule, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Warren Whiteley (captain), 7 Oupa Mohoje, 6 Siya Kolisi, 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Tendai Mtawarira

Substitutes: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Coenie Oosthuizen, 19 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 20 Jean-Luc du Preez, 21 Francois Hougaard, 22 Frans Steyn, 23 Dillyn Leyds

France

15 Brice Dulin, 14 Yoann Huget, 13 Henry Chavancy, 12 Gaël Fickou, 11 Virimi Vakatawa, 10 Jules Plisson, 9 Maxime Machenaud, 8 Louis Picamoles, 7 Loann Goujon, 6 Yacouba Camara, 5 Yoann Maestri (captain), 4 Julien le Devedec, 3 Uini Atonio, 2 Clément Maynadier, 1 Jefferson Poirot

Substitutes: 16 Camille Chat, 17 Eddy Ben Arous, 18 Mohamed Boughanmi, 19 Bernard le Roux, 20 Kévin Gourdon, 21 Baptiste Serin, 22 Jean-Marc Doussain, 23 Vincent Rattez

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England 204 & 15/0 (10 ov)
West Indies 318
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