Three changes to Springbok pack to face Samoa in Pretoria

Springbok captain Jean de Villiers will be given until Friday to prove that he has fully recovered from a sternum injury, which has kept him off the training field so far this week.

 

The Springboks face Samoa in the final match of the Castle Lager Incoming Series at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria on Saturday. The team shows three changes – all of them in the pack – from the side which beat Scotland by 30-17 in Nelspruit last weekend.

 

The backline will be unchanged from last weekend, should De Villiers’ pass his fitness test.

 

If De Villiers can’t play, Jan Serfontein will start at inside centre, with Juan de Jongh coming onto the bench. Adriaan Strauss will then lead the Springboks to become South Africa’s 55th Test captain and Bryan Habana will take over the vice-captaincy.

 

“Jean is an integral member of our squad and we will give him all the time he needs to get back to full fitness,” said Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer.

 

“Luckily we have a strong group of leaders in the squad and if Jean doesn’t make it, Adriaan will take over the captaincy, with support provided by Francois Louw, Pierre Spies, Bryan Habana and Bismarck du Plessis.”

 

Upfront, the injured Arno Botha is replaced at flank by Willem Alberts, who has been struggling with a side strain.

 

Alberts, who has been training with the team this week, will have to pass a fitness test on Friday to prove that he has recovered fully from his injury. If he is not passed fit to play Samoa, Siya Kolisi will start in his place and Marcell Coetzee will be included on the bench.

 

Francois Louw returns on the other flank after missing last weekend’s match because of his wedding. The third and final change to the starting line-up is at lock, where Flip van der Merwe comes in for Juandré Kruger.

 

“Francois was always going to be back this week and Willem has been our first-choice ball carrier, so it’s been good to have them back on the training field,” said Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer.

 

“Because Willem is returning from an injury, we decided to start with him. Siya played very well last weekend and it is great to have someone of his versatility on the bench. We saw last week how valuable it is to have replacement players who can make a real impact late in the match.

 

“I’m happy that we’ve been able to keep some form of continuity during these Tests, especially in the backline, where a number of exciting new players have come in and put up their hands during Vodacom Super Rugby and in the last two weeks.”

 

Meyer said the match against Samoa will be a proper test for his squad.

 

“They have a strong squad and have benefited from having their best players compete in Vodacom Super Rugby and at the top club level in Europe, but our focus is on putting in an improved performance from last week,” said Meyer.

 

The Springbok team to face Samoa in Pretoria is:

 

Position

Name

Province

Test Caps

15

Willie le Roux

GWK Griquas

2

14

Bryan Habana

DHL Western Province

85

13

JJ Engelbrecht

Vodacom Blue Bulls

3

12

Jean de Villiers (captain) / Jan Serfontein

DHL Western Province / Vodacom Blue Bulls

86 / 2

11

Bjorn Basson

Vodacom Blue Bulls

8

10

Morné Steyn

Vodacom Blue Bulls

44

9

Ruan Pienaar

Ulster, N.Ireland

65

8

Pierre Spies

Vodacom Blue Bulls

52

7

Willem Alberts / Siya Kolisi

The Sharks / DHL Western Province

20 / 1

6

Francois Louw

Bath, England

18

5

Flip van der Merwe

Vodacom Blue Bulls

25

4

Eben Etzebeth

DHL Western Province

13

3

Jannie du Plessis

The Sharks

44

2

Adriaan Strauss

Toyota FS Cheetahs

23

1

Tendai Mtawarira

The Sharks

43

Replacements

16

Bismarck du Plessis

The Sharks

47

17

Trevor Nyakane

Toyota FS Cheetahs

2

18

Coenie Oosthuizen

Toyota FS Cheetahs

3

19

Juandré Kruger

Vodacom Blue Bulls

10

20

Siya Kolisi / Marcell Coetzee

DHL Western Province / The Sharks

1 / 14

21

Piet van Zyl

Toyota FS Cheetahs

1

22

Pat Lambie

The Sharks

22

23

Jan Serfontein / Juan de Jongh

Vodacom Blue Bulls / DHL Western Province

2 / 14

 

Stats and facts:

  • South Africa and Samoa last met on 30 September 2011 in Albany, north of Auckland, during the 2011 Rugby World Cup. The Springboks won 13-5.
  • Jean de Villiers will extend his record as the most-capped Springbok centre, with 71 Tests in this position, if he starts on Saturday.
  • Bryan Habana will extend his record as the most-capped Springbok wing, with 84 Tests in this position.
  • If he scores a try, Bryan Habana will extend his record of 48 Test tries for South Africa. He will then also equal Chester Williams’ career record of six tries against Samoa. This will also elevate him to 245 career points for South Africa and fourth on the all-time point scorers’ list for the Springboks.
  • Morné Steyn will extend his record as the most-capped Springbok flyhalf, with 43 Tests in this position.
  • If he scores a try, Morné Steyn will extend his record of seven Test tries as a flyhalf for South Africa.
  • Pierre Spies will extend his record as the most-capped Springbok No 8, with 47 Tests in this position.
  • If he scores a try, Pierre Spies will extend his record of seven Test tries as a No 8 for South Africa.
  • Bismarck du Plessis needs a try to become the sole record holder of career tries by a Springbok hooker in Tests. He shares this record of six with John Smit.
  • Flip van der Merwe is in the starting line-up for the first time since starting against New Zealand on 15 September 2012. It will be his 26th Test, but only his fifth start
  • The match 23 will again feature eight former pupils from Grey College in Bloemfontein: Ruan Pienaar, Jannie du Plessis, Adriaan Strauss, Bismarck du Plessis, Coenie Oosthuizen, Flip van der Merwe, Piet van Zyl and Jan Serfontein.

 

Springbok Test match records in Pretoria:

  • Most points – 31 by Percy Montgomery (2t, 9c, 1p) against Wales 27 June, 1998. 
  • Most tries – three by Danie Gerber against South America on 27 March, 1982; by Pieter Rossouw against Wales on 27 June, 1998 and by Bryan Habana against Australia on 29 September. 2012.
  • Most conversions – nine by Percy Montgomery against Wales on 27 June, 1998.
  • Most penalty goals – six by Gerald Bosch against France on 28 June, 1975 and by Braam van Straaten against England on 17 June, 2000.
  • Most drop goals – one each by six players: Piet Visagie, Gerald Bosch, Naas Botha, Louis Koen, Percy Montgomery and Andre Pretorius.

 

© SARU

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About Dave

I totally love sport. Rugby, cricket and soccer, but my first love will always be rugby. Other than sport I write my own poems and other interestings articles. I also love cooking. A man of many talents. When it come to Cricket I'm a Cape Cobras, Kolkata Knight Riders and Proteas supporter. Soccer there is only one team and that is Man United and Germany internationally. Other than that I'm a loving father and husband.

Posted on June 19, 2013, in Springbok Rugby. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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