Boks named for World XV clash



South Africa’s Sevens Player of 2013, Cornal Hendricks, will make his debut for South Africa in the 15-man code next to ten players who started in the Springboks’ final Test of 2013 when they face a star-studded World XV, sponsored by Samsung, at DHL Newlands in Cape Town on Saturday (kick-off at 17h00).

The speedy Hendricks is the only newcomer in the team as Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer opted for continuity in his team’s first match of the year.

The old firm of Bakkies Botha and interim captain Victor Matfield are re-united in the second row. JP Pietersen moves to outside centre. Schalk Burger makes a return to the side for the first time in two and a half years while Frans Steyn, Schalk Brits, Lwazi Mvovo and Johan Goosen are also back after playing no Test rugby last year. The five players who started in the 19-10 win over France in Paris last November but are not in the starting team this week, are the injured Jean de Villiers, Jaque Fourie and Eben Etzebeth, as well as Flip van der Merwe and Coenie Oosthuizen, who will both start on the bench.

“It’s positive to have this kind of continuity in our first start of the year,” said Meyer on Wednesday. “Even though we’ll be starting with a new midfield combination, Frans and JP have both played more than 50 Tests for the Boks and with Bryan Habana also in the backline, Cornal will start with a lot of experience around him. “We’re expecting a stern test on Saturday against the World XV and our mindset is to make our nation proud – it should never be anything else when the Springboks play. It will also be a good way to start the season before our first Test next week against Wales, but for now we’re only focused on the World XV and playing well.

“Our aim for the season is to accelerate and make a step up from 2013. To put ourselves in a position to do that, we simply have to start well.”

Of the 23 in action on Saturday, 13 featured in the victory in Paris. One of the new faces is Matfield, who has been named captain with De Villiers out injured during the Castle Lager Incoming Series this month. It will be the 100-times capped lock’s first match in the green and gold since the Rugby World Cup in 2011. Meyer said it was pleasing to see Matfield and Botha re-united, while he was also very excited about the prospects of Hendricks on the wing, Pietersen at outside centre and the return of Burger, Brits and Steyn.

“If anyone told me two years ago that Victor and Bakkies would play together again for the Boks, I probably wouldn’t have believed it. They have been great servants of the game in South Africa and now have the opportunity to take it further. “We’re also keen to see what JP can offer at outside centre, where he’s played very well for the Cell C Sharks earlier in his career and for his club in Japan.

“Cornal is a player I’ve been following for some time and I thought he made a very good transition from sevens to the 15-man code earlier this year. He’s big and very fast, and hopefully we’ll be able to provide him with some space to attack in. The Springbok Sevens can be very proud of the way in which they aided in his development to a top-class player.

“Frans and Schalk Brits are both special players with the X-factor and it’s wonderful to have them back. Their attitude has been superb and I know they can add a lot in the coming weeks. Lwazi has been great for the Cell C Sharks this year and I believe he can make an impact later in the match, while I’ve always rated Johan and it’s good to see him getting back to his best.

“This was a tough team selection to make and a couple of players were unlucky to miss out, but I know all of them will keep on pressing hard for selection in the weeks to come. I always like it if players in the team must make it easy for me to leave them in, and players outside the team must make it difficult to leave them out.”

The Springbok team to face the Samsung-sponsored World XV in Cape Town is:


Position Name Test Caps Test points
15 Willie le Roux 12 20
14 Cornal Hendricks 0 0
13 JP Pietersen 51 80
12 Frans Steyn 53 132
11 Bryan Habana 95 265
10 Morné Steyn 54 636
9 Ruan Pienaar 74 130
8 Duane Vermeulen 16 5
7 Willem Alberts 30 35
6 Francois Louw 28 25
5 Victor Matfield (captain) 110 35
4 Bakkies Botha 78 35
3 Jannie du Plessis 51 5
2 Bismarck du Plessis (vice-captain) 57 45
1 Tendai Mtawarira 53 10
16 Schalk Brits 5 0
17 Gurthrö Steenkamp 49 30
18 Coenie Oosthuizen 14 10
19 Flip van der Merwe 34 5
20 Schalk Burger 68 65
21 Fourie du Preez 67 75
22 Johan Goosen 4 8
23 Lwazi Mvovo 7 5
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Better known as Bunny, Took over after Pissant went over to the "Dark Side"


  1. Pretty straight forward (‘pretty’)… surprised Burger is in the side over a few others… also I’ve been following Cornal too for quite some time… he has no kicking game on the wing… limited just like Mvovu and Mapoe in that dept (although JW has been working on that with Mvovu at 15)…

    Experiment game… but that’s the Bok pack (give or take Etsabeth coming back)…

    The only surprise is that they are still persisting with Coenie at TH and there is no other LH better than a clearly aging Gurthro…

  2. Remember: No test caps for this game.

    Actually it’s a pity the “leftovers” can’t
    be playing midweek games in June, since there
    is no room for an SA A team on the calendar.

    Anybody agrees?

  3. I’m not up to date with the up and coming youngsters in SA, but still wonder what the benefit is of playing Vic and Bakkies both for the June games. Surely some youngsters should get some experience time in anticipation for the 4N?

  4. I am excited about this team.

    JPP at 13 and Hendricks can play a very different attacking game if allowed.

    Goosen to 10 and More to 12 and vettie to the bench and you suddenly sitting with a very potent backline.

    Brits on later and you can create a bit of havoc.

    I hope they succeed!

  5. Hendricks at least has the physique to challenge kiwis and he is a manic runner.

    Bryce very interesting you bitch about his lack of a kicking game, but neither Habana nor Jean Divs nor JPP has a kicking game. Its never been an issue but now Hendricks gets in and you have a problem with his kicking, as a wing!

    At least he can catch. Habana became a world beater and still cannot really catch a rugby ball.

    Hendricks had a good enough chip to clear against WP and score, so he should be just fine.

  6. @Ollie: Too many injuries I suppose…..and other guys just not in HM mind…..only Flip on bench to cover lock, no else, suppose Alberts will cover if necessary, but i am with you Ollie would have like to see some youngsters their.

    Me think because so much disruption in the back he wanted to have the best experienced pack

  7. Jip, playing Bakkies is not building
    for WC.
    How available will the overseas mob
    be four the Rugby Championship?
    FduP only for two tests, and then HM
    has to lick Jap arses.

  8. @Cheetah Glory:

    Jislaaik boet – do they have 15% beer there in Ireland?

    Habana can’t catch a ball? So I suppose they gave him the ball from hand to hand for the record number of tries he scored for the boks?

    Both Habana and JPP have a decent kicking game. The only way the Hendricks will get get better is if he works at it…


  9. @Cheetah Glory:

    Both JPP and Habana do indeed have a kicking game mate… huge clearance kicks… and do you want me show the scores of chip-n-chase tries Habana has scored on youtube including the IRB try of the year…

    And jeez you don’t half talk shite… Habana is exceptional under the high ball… but I digress…

    In the modern game both the 11 and 14 should have the skills of a 15… as Aus do and NZ do… and RSA do… and what JW has been doing to improve Mvovu’s game…

    Hendricks is like MApoe… he lacks this aspect of his game hence the comment… but that doesn’t mean unlike Mapoe… he cannot improve this part of his game…

    And no he actually looks bigger than he is next to all the Orks in the 7’s side… he weighs the same as WLR…

    I applauded him being included in the Orks side… and if you read back… so too the Cheetahs… but you (well maybe not you) cannot deny the guy has hopped quite a few places to be included in a Bok side… even if it isn’t a test…

    But hey every coach has done it in the past… JW with the likes of FDP/Julies/Chavanga et al as an example… HM knows whats what…

    No biggie…

  10. Interesting – no room for JJ and Jan.
    And they’re both Bulls.

    Hendricks LOOKS bigger than Willie,
    but Bryce is correct.

  11. @bryce_in_oz:

    Habana is kak under high ball. And down the line you have to pass him sitters or he knocks it. Dont know a winger who had knocked more balls than him. If fact after his antics in Toulon final he was given a winner pass at speed and again knocked it.

  12. @Cheetah Glory:

    In fact Sheryl Calder has on this very site agreed that Habana is one of those players who have to continuously work on his coordination as he is not a naturally talented ball player.

    JPP a kicking game! Ha haha. Juts cause you manage to physically kick a ball does not mean you have a kicking game. Willie has a kicking game, so too Kirchner, so too Morne and Fransie. The rest not so much. Jean none at all.

  13. and why do the boks outside backs need kicking games when they are used as chasers of the ball.

    Aerial skills is another matter.

  14. Basson is technically a better wing. So too Akona. The latter is probably technically the best wing we have, but he lacks the pace.

  15. Best wing for me is Jean Divs. He is tall and strong on feet so can stand up to wait for support. Still dont know why we play him 12.

  16. Hendricks is certainly taller than Messerschmitt.
    It will be great to see those two together with an exceptional supporting cast.
    This will allow The SunKing to get Hendricks away vs his current status with Cheetahs always having to worry about defending against the 3 on 1 jailbreaks opposing teams like to spring on the FunBunch from turnover ball.

    Love the slash in Hendricks game he has no qualms about cutting to the center of the field vs sticking to the outside.

    Messerschmitt, Brits, now Hendricks….HM channeling Einstein-like genius.
    Does that warrant a name change to HMstein? Bunny perhaps you could create a RW instapoll on site to see if this would be a good change of nomenclature going forward.

    Such weighty things are best addressed through concensus.

  17. Corny is 6 foot 2 & a half.
    That’s a tall dring of water. Both 198lb.
    Willie is no munchkin – he’s still 6 foot.

  18. @bryce_in_oz: Habbadonna has been pretty crap under the high ball even recall effing up at the Spoilers, oops Stormers. But Habdonna can kick.

    Very pleased for Conal and pleased to see the end of SideshowBOB. Conal can kick and he will join the line at pace…cant wait to see his speed and 7 skills. Then having JPP and thank-you God the two very talented Bulls have been dropped. Shame to see such talent got to waste.

    …and do you want me show the scores of chip-n-chase tries Habana has scored on youtube including the IRB try of the year… – Yes please!!!!

    As for Schalla Fdup WTF are they like getting old age cheques like fatty Smit. What a waste to see Kickott or a lot of talented players missing out to be tested.