Boks at a canter - Sowerby

Shaun Sowerby (Getty Images)
Shaun Sowerby (Getty Images)
Cape Town - Former Springbok Shaun Sowerby says the Boks should comfortably dispatch a struggling France in Paris on Saturday.

Sowerby, 35, who played one Test for South Africa against Samoa in 2002, said the French are in a rebuilding phase and don't really know what their best team is.

The former Shark has played club rugby in France since 2004 and is currently contracted to Grenoble, having previously represented Stade Francais and Toulouse.

"You never know with the French - and the past year's struggles will probably be forgotten if they cause an upset by beating the team ranked second in the world rankings," Sowerby told Die Burger's website.

"That's sometimes where the French can be dangerous, but I can't see them beating South Africa. South Africa's had a top year and will win easily."

France have won only two out of 10 Tests in 2013 - against Scotland and Tonga - and Sowerby thinks the poor recent run is due to a rebuilding phase in French rugby.

"Guys like Dimitri Yachvili, Imanol Harinordoquy and Julien Bonnaire aren't there anymore. A rebuilding phase like this is tough to manage and the French are unsure what their strongest team is."

Sowerby said France could give South Africa a run for their money up front but still predicted the Boks would boss that area.

"The French have always been strong up front. They are technically good in the scrums, lineouts and driving mauls. It could get uncomfortable (for South Africa) if they are accurate in those facets, but the Boks remain their tiger in every division.

Sowerby will retire at the end of the French season and has in all likelihood played his last game as he is struggling with a serious groin injury.

Kick-off at the Stade de France is at 22:00 (SA time) on Saturday.



15 Brice Dulin, 14 Sofiane Guitoune, 13 Florian Fritz, 12 Wesley Fofana, 11 Yoann Huget, 10 Remi Tales, 9 Morgan Parra, 8 Damien Chouly, 7 Wenceslas Lauret, 6 Thierry Dusautoir (captain), 5 Yoann Maestri, 4 Pascal Pape, 3 Nicolas Mas, 2 Benjamin Kayser, 1 Yannick Forestier.

Substitutes: 16 Dimitri Szarzewski, 17 Thomas Domingo, 18 Rabah Slimani, 19 Sebastien Vahaamahina, 20 Yannick Nyanga, 21 Jean-Marc Doussain, 22 Frederic Michalak, 23 Mathieu Bastareaud

South Africa:

15 Willie le Roux: 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Jaque Fourie, 12 Jean de Villiers (captain) 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Willem Alberts, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Flip van der Merwe, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Tendai Mtawarira

Substitutes: 16 Adriaan Strauss, 17 Gurthrö Steenkamp, 18 Lourens Adriaanse, 19 Bakkies Botha, 20 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 21 Siya Kolisi 22 Jano Vermaak, 23 Patrick Lambie
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