World XV name 7 SA stars in side for Japan clash

Adriaan Strauss (Getty Images)
Adriaan Strauss (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Adriaan Strauss is one of five South Africans named in the World XV’s starting line-up for their match against Japan in Osaka on Friday.

Strauss, who retired from rugby at the end of this year’s Super Rugby tournament, is joined by Lions centre Harold Vorster, Toyota Verblitz flyhalf Lionel Cronje, Bulls lock Jason Jenkins and Sunwolves tighthead prop Hencus van Wyk.

There are another two South Africans on the 10-man bench - Sunwolves flank Willie Britz and Lions loosehead prop Corne Fourie.

According to the website, there is also a strong New Zealand influence in the team with Nehe Milner-Skudder starting at fullback and will also feature All Blacks squad members Dillon Hunt and Jackson Hemopo.

Milner-Skudder was a notable exclusion from the All Blacks' 32-man squad to tour Japan and Europe, but will get a chance to impress against the 2019 Rugby World Cup hosts before joining up with the All Blacks' 51-man squad to face the same opposition a week later.

New Blues recruit Ma'a Nonu will start at No 12, while recently retired All Black Wyatt Crockett will take his place on the bench.

The side will be captained by former All Blacks and Crusaders No 9 Andy Ellis.

The Kiwi flavour in the side continues with Tevita Li and Toni Pulu starting on the wings while Ricky Riccitelli and Augustine Pulu have been named among the replacements.  

The World XV are bidding for a third straight victory over the Brave Blossoms, having beaten Japan a few weeks prior to their shock win over South Africa at the 2015 World Cup, when also coached by Robbie Deans.

Ellis, who now plays alongside Dan Carter at Kobe Kobelco Steelers, also led the World XV last year when they beat Japan 47-27 at Fukuoka.

The game kicks off at 12:00 SA time.




World XV

15 Nehe Milner Skudder (Hurricanes), 14 Toni Pulu (Chiefs), 13 Harold Vorster (Lions/Panasonic), 12 Ma’a Nonu (Blues, New Zealand), 11  Tevita Li (Highlanders), 10 Lionel Cronje (Toyota), 9 Andrew Ellis (Kobe, captain), 8 Leonardo Senatore (Jaguares), 7 Dillon Hunt (Highlanders), 6 Jackson Hemopo (Highlanders), 5 Jason Jenkins (Bulls/Toyota), 4 Sam Carter (Brumbies), 3 Hencus van Wyk (Sunwolves/Sanix)2 Adriaan Strauss (Bulls), 1 Craig Millar (Sunwolves/Panasonic)

Substitutes: Ricky Riccitelli (Hurricanes), Wyatt Crockett (Crusaders), Ben Alexander (Brumbies), Ben Gunter (Panasonic), Willie Britz (Sunwolves/NTT), Augustine Pulu (Hino/Blues), Santiago Gonzalez Iglesias (Jaguares), Keisuke Moriya (Panasonic), Nili Latu (Hino), Corne Fourie (Lions/Panasonic)

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