Horwill back for Bok clash


333c3f639d0046638f7340510ac253acWallabies captain James Horwill makes his return from injury as Australia take on South Africa in Cape Town on Saturday.

By: Sport24

The return of Horwill comes at a timely moment for the Wallabies with a victory needed to maintain the Mandela Challenge Plate after the Springboks won the opening Test in Brisbane a fortnight ago.

His inclusion is one of six changes made to the team which secured Australia’s first win of the 2013 Rugby Championship with a gutsy 14-13 triumph over Argentina in Perth.

Three of those changes come to the starting backline, which include Brumbies centre Tevita Kuridrani receiving his first international run-on opportunity and a new wing pairing of Adam Ashley-Cooper and Joe Tomane.

For Kuridrani his selection in the No 13 jersey continues his remarkable rise throughout 2013, which also included the 21-year-old winning the ‘Most Outstanding Young Talent’ award for the Brumbies.

Included in his many highlights was his match-winning try in South Africa in the Super Rugby semi-final against the Bulls.

His move sees Ashley-Cooper start on the wing for the first time since last year’s opening Spring Tour clash against France in Paris.

Tomane has recovered from a shoulder injury to gain selection opposite Ashley-Cooper after starting the final two games on the wing for the Qantas Wallabies during their historic series against The British & Irish Lions.

On the bench prop Benn Robinson will receive his first opportunity for Australia during the Ewen McKenzie-era while 19-year-old sensation Chris Feauai-Sautia is in line to make his Wallabies Test debut.

Scrumhalf Nic White has also maintained his place in the number nine jersey after being awarded the team’s internal Man of Gold Award for Players’ Player against Argentina.

“James has plenty of experience and we are going into a tough environment. He plays the game hard so it’s timely that he is back,” McKenzie said.

“In our outside backs we’ve already been forced into change but Tomane on one wing is pretty straight forward. He is big and powerful and has been in the squad for a long time.

“The question after that is whether we wanted to bring an uncapped player onto the wing or go with Kuridrani, who has been training with the squad every week and has been used off the bench in two games.

“In the end we wanted to make things as smooth as possible while relying on as much experience as we can. We’re going with guys who have been training with us consistently since the beginning of the tournament.

“Adam Ashley-Cooper also has great capacity to cover a number of positions and we’re always going to use him in different roles. With his experience he knows what’s required and the role is something he feels comfortable doing. It won’t change the way he contributes.

“Benn Robinson also comes in, which if you look at it in its totality, means our bench is structured to give us plenty of impact later in the game. That’s where we’ve been at our weakest so far.

“Bringing in experience later in the game can only lift your performance and at the same time they can stake a claim for a further opportunity in the starting team.”

The Wallabies enter Saturday’s match against South Africa with possession of the Nelson Mandela Challenge Plate and will retain the silverware for a fourth straight year with a victory at Newlands Stadium.

Victory would also be Australia’s first in Cape Town since 1992, which was the first clash between the two nations since South Africa’s return following the end of the apartheid.

South Africa have won all four matches played at the foot of Table Mountain since that time.

“We approach every game as though we can win it and I’ve never felt we can’t go out there with that expectation. No one will back us but that sits fine with us,” McKenzie said.

“Two wins in a row would be significant for this team, especially winning in South Africa given their current circumstance. We’ve got a great opportunity to be a thorn in what they are trying to do.”

The Wallabies will wear black armbands on Saturday as a mark of respect following the sudden death of former Wallabies captain and member of the Australian Rugby Hall of Fame, John Hipwell OAM.
South Africa
15 Zane Kirchner, 14 Willie le Roux, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Jean de Villiers (captain), 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Fourie du Preez, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Willem Alberts, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Flip van der Merwe, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Adriaan Strauss, 1 Tendai Mtawarira
Substitutes: 16 Bismarck du Plessis, 17 Gurthrö Steenkamp, 18 Coenie Oosthuizen, 19 Juandré Kruger, 20 Siya Kolisi, 21 Ruan Pienaar, 22 Pat Lambie, 23 Jan Serfontein
15 Israel Folau, 14 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Christian Leali’ifano, 11 Joe Tomane, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Nic White, 8 Ben Mowen, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Scott Fardy, 5 James Horwill (captain), 4 Rob Simmons, 3 Ben Alexander, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 James Slipper

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Better known as Bunny, Took over after Pissant went over to the "Dark Side"


  1. @Morné:

    good that means their defense will be all over the place when a FB and wing need to cover their channels…

    Like I said it can only backfire!

    My only concern is our pack turning up for the day and not end up like that game in Argentina :noshake:

  2. @Morné:

    ag my fok and make their usual 2.347 centimetres every time they ‘attack’. So tired of these lumbering fat bullockses just bulldozing their way through 80 minutes.

    But I suppose thats todays game and we are lucky to have big dumb guys willing to do so all day long.

    Till next week, when suddenly those tactics alone are not good enough….

  3. I see in that 1992 game we lost our back row was:

    Jannie Breedt
    Ian McDonald
    Wahl Baartman

    I reckon our combined skills set in our back 3 today is pretty similar compared to those 3, which does not say much

  4. Then agian I dont care how limited our back rowers are in the top 2 inches- provided they are told to stau out of the backline.

    Let Morne, Fourie and Willie dictate what happens with the ball from about 4 phases onward.


    Probably the nicest little rugby piece I have read in 5 years!

    Glad he picked up on the Roberts/O Droscoll combo.

    So too Horan/Little

    I was fortunate to see Sella and LeCroix play in Bloem just before Sella retired and I touched his jersey! Magic.

    Our best combo in the modern era for me was Barry and Joubert

  6. I am often very critical of Jean and the main reason is that heis role in the teams he plays in is more a link with the forward pack than with his outside backs.

    For this reason he seems selfish and lacking of a passing game. Truth is he has never been pushed to develop that part of his game as he was considered by coaches to be a safe option to set up another ruck.

    Cant blame the player for being a good team man.

    But fuck its frustrating to see how many balls in Bok/WP rugby die at 12.

    I believe Jean can be so much more than he has been allowed to be. 2008 gave us glimpses and a few good touches this year suggests he still has it – but for the most part he just straightens up and sets up another ruck. No kicking game whatsoever.

    Dick Muir and Franco Smith two very underrated centres also. Both created so much for Snyman/Percy circa 1998.

  7. @Brendon:

    my all time favs are Bunce and Little with Horan and Little a close 2nd.

    SA combo of Barry/Joubert did not play too many games together but I was at their debut in Newlands (which ended badly for Joubert). Did he not get inured in the 1st 10min or so?

  8. @Morné:

    a mismatch that we do what with morne? What exactly do the Boks do with a mismatch?

    They pass the ball to another forward (bissie/eben/Beast etc) who due to their lack of pace very quickly fucks up that mismatch by being slow or having a delayed decision-making capability.

    The Boks create momentum well, but please dont sell me shite like ‘mismatches on attack’ when you know full well we dont seek to exploit those.

  9. @Brendon:

    and if ‘crossing the advantage line’ means the 2 centemetres that these brutes usually gain, then fine.

    Most of the time a smaller more agile player crosses the advantage line and makes far more meters, as most games stats will attest to.

    What i do understand is using big brutes to tire out the opposition and then hit them when they are tired out wide – something many a Bok team often forget to do. Thats why the 11 Brisbane minutes was so magic.

    We finally nailed the buggers.