World XV aim to be courageous

Nick Mallett (Gallo Images)
Nick Mallett (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - Former Wallaby flyhalf Matt Giteau will captain the World XV in the international clash against the Springboks at Newlands on Saturday.

The 92-Test capped Australian leads an experienced line-up which was named by coach Nick Mallett in Cape Town on Thursday.

The 23-man match-day squad also included three non-capped South African players in prop Schalk Ferreira, hooker Craig Burden and scrumhalf Rory Kockott.

The World XV's half-back pairing of Giteau and Kockott were on opposite sides last week when they played for Toulon and Castres, respectively, in the French Top 14 final at Stade de France.

Giteau would be joined by his Toulon team-mates Burden, prop Carl Hayman, wing Drew Mitchell and flank Steffon Armitage.

Mallett said his main objective was ensuring that his team would be competitive to do justice to the event.

"What the World XV players can offer is the willingness to be physical and to be courageous on defence," Mallett said.

"The Boks are direct and will put you under pressure when it comes to sheer physicality.

"The Boks improved their attack last year but they have not moved away from physicality."

Mallett added that he was hoping the team would settle down as soon as possible in order to unleash their full potential.

"This is a very exciting team and it is just a question of how quickly they can gel," Mallett said.

"They are all very good rugby players. There is a fantastic backline as well, there's no doubt there's a lot of talent in the side."

Mallett was excited by some of the combinations, most notably the South African lock-pairing of Juandre Kruger and Allister Hargreaves.

"We have got two South African locks that are good in the line-outs and in South Africa you have to make sure you win your own ball," said Mallett.

"There are nice combinations like in our front row where Carl Hayman and Craig Burden have played a lot together at Toulon."

The Springboks will be playing without a specialist fetcher and Mallett has lined-up England's Steffon Armitage, who also plays for Toulon, to hit the breakdown play.

"Steffon Armitage is a fantastic player and was voted the European Player of the Year.

"He's great over the ball, he's good defensive player and a great attacking player."

Meanwhile, Giteau downplayed speculation about Springbok flyhalf Morne Steyn's match-fitness and believes the number 10 will improve as he enjoys more game-time.

Giteau has seen enough of Steyn in recent months when he played for Stade Francais in the French Top 14.

"It is true that Morne hasn't played much but he's a classy player and with more game-time he'll strike form again," said Giteau.

"He's just too good a player and he'll kick well too."


South Africa:

15 Willie le Roux, 14 Cornal Hendricks, 13 JP Pietersen, 12 Frans Steyn, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 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 Tendai Mtawarira

Substitutes: 16 Schalk Brits, 17 Gurthrö Steenkamp, 18 Coenie Oosthuizen, 19 Flip van der Merwe, 20 Schalk Burger, 21 Fourie du Preez, 22 Johan Goosen, 23 Lwazi Mvovo

World XV:

15 James O'Connor, 14 Drew Mitchell, 13 Rene Ranger, 12 Wynand Olivier, 11 Hosea Gear, 10 Matt Giteau, 9 Rory Kockott, 8 Roger Wilson, 7 Steffon Armitage, 6 Mamuka Gorgodze, 5 Alistair Hargreaves, 4 Juandré Kruger, 3 Carl Hayman, 2 Craig Burden, 1 Sona Taumalolo.

Substitutes: 16 Andrew Hore, 17 Schalk Ferreira, 18 Pat Cilliers, 19 Joe Tekori, 20 Alexandre Lapandry, 21 Jimmy Cowan, 22 François Trinh-Duc, 23 Benson Stanley

Voting Booth
What is your favourite sport to watch on TV?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
46% - 3550 votes
11% - 843 votes
18% - 1365 votes
2% - 145 votes
1% - 62 votes
2% - 160 votes
5% - 386 votes
7% - 571 votes
3% - 237 votes
Water sports
1% - 64 votes
American sports
1% - 59 votes
3% - 199 votes