Steenkamp get’s 50th for Springboks

June 11, 2014
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Springboks

South Africa’s Player of the Year in 2010, Gurthrö Steenkamp, will make his 50th Test appearance for the Springboks when they take on Wales at Growthpoint Kings Park in Durban on Saturday (kick-off 17h00).

Steenkamp has been included in the starting line-up for the first Welsh Test in one of six changes to the match-day squad from the team which comprehensively beat the World XV last weekend in Cape Town, four of which are positional shifts.

Cornal Hendricks, who shone for the Springboks last weekend at DHL Newlands, will make his Test debut on Saturday, while his provincial team mate from the Toyota Free State Cheetahs, the uncapped Lood de Jager, has been selected on the bench.

The two changes in the backline are at inside centre, where Jan Serfontein will earn his first Test start for South Africa, and scrumhalf, where Fourie du Preez will start with Ruan Pienaar on the bench alongside Tendai Mtawarira, who has swapped places with Steenkamp.

The 32-year-old Steenkamp, who made his international debut on 27 November 2004 against Scotland in Edinburgh, will become the 29th Springbok to reach 50 Test caps. He will also become the sixth prop to achieve this feat behind Os du Randt, CJ van der Linde, Ollie le Roux, Jannie du Plessis and Mtawarira.

“This is a wonderful achievement for Gurthrö and I’m very proud of him,” said Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer.

“He has been playing Test rugby for a decade and is vastly experienced at all levels of the game. Gurthrö always gives everything he has for the Springbok jersey and it’s always good to see commitment and hard work pay off.”

Meyer was also very happy for Hendricks and De Jager, who have been two of the Toyota Cheetahs’ stars this season.

“To make one’s Test debut is a proud moment in any player’s career. Cornal and Lood fully deserve to be in the squad this weekend and I know they will do well,” said Meyer.

“Cornal performed exceptionally well in his first start for South Africa against the World XV last weekend and really made the most of his opportunity. “Lood has everything expected from a modern lock – not only is he big and powerful, but he likes the physical stuff and is very skilful as well. “I also planned on giving Jan an opportunity this month. He was first selected when he was 20 last year and it’s always been our plan to groom him for a long Springbok career. He’s been playing well for the Vodacom Bulls lately and his first start for the Springboks is well-deserved after making nine appearances from the bench in 2013.

“Jan and JP Pietersen will face a very experienced midfield combination on Saturday, but they have played against the best in Vodacom Super Rugby and know what is expected of them.”

Meyer said he is expecting a stern challenge from Wales on Saturday.

“They started their tour well with a good win in Port Elizabeth on Tuesday evening and they are always fired up and ready,” said the Springbok coach.

“Wales have an experienced coaching team and they were the Six Nations champions in 2012 and 2013, as well as the back-bone of the British & Irish Lions team which beat Australia last year, so this will be a massive challenge in our first Test of the season. “Although we got our season off to a good start against the World XV last weekend, there were a few areas of the game we were not satisfied with and which we worked hard on this week. We will have to be at our best on Saturday and we want to make our supporters proud.”

Victor Matfield, who will captain the Springboks for the 18th time in a Test, will equal John Smit’s South African record of 111 Tests in the Green and Gold. Four players who are part of the squad were not considered for selection because of illness and injury. They are Juan de Jongh (chest infection), Siya Kolisi (flu), Oupa Mohoje (flu) and Marnitz Boshoff (ankle).

The Springbok team to face Wales in Durban is:

 

Position Name Test Caps Test points
15 Willie le Roux 12 20
14 Cornal Hendricks 0 0
13 JP Pietersen 51 80
12 Jan Serfontein 9 5
11 Bryan Habana 95 265
10 Morné Steyn 54 636
9 Fourie du Preez (vice-captain) 67 75
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
17 Gurthrö Steenkamp 49 30
Replacements:
16 Schalk Brits 5 0
17 Tendai Mtawarira 53 10
18 Coenie Oosthuizen 14 10
19 Lood de Jager 0 0
20 Schalk Burger 68 65
21 Ruan Pienaar 74 130
22 Johan Goosen 4 8
23 Lwazi Mvovo 7 5

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11 Comments

  1. avatar bryce_in_oz says:
    June 11th, 2014 at 1:53 pm

    Going to be interesting to see the Welsh side… I’d have dropped Hendricks (who had a good game last week), included the Bulls mid-field, JPP on the wing… or Mvovu onto the wing for his pace…the Steyn omission has certainly screwed things up… but he wasn’t going to play in TRC anyways…

    And is De Jager the only lock left uninjured? Two LH’s on the bench too… hmmm!

  2. avatar Methos The French Stormer says:
    June 11th, 2014 at 2:02 pm

    Just want to throw my hat in here as well – Heineke – I’m also a lock and still uncapped. Just gimme a call and I’ll jump on the first available plane…

    Cheers

  3. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    June 11th, 2014 at 2:34 pm

    @Methos The French Stormer: Hehehe

  4. avatar Bekke says:
    June 11th, 2014 at 6:17 pm

    Jou bal is nie blou genoeg nie maat!

  5. avatar Sasori says:
    June 11th, 2014 at 8:25 pm

    @Bekke:

    Lood de Jager is not a Bull.

    There are two current bulls in the team.

    If the overseas players were still playing in RSA there would likely be 5 bulls in the team.

    Which of those were picked simply because of Bulls bias? :)

    Some people are just cant help but :dead horse:

  6. avatar Sasori says:
    June 11th, 2014 at 8:27 pm

    Wow…..what happened to my last sentence :0

    Maybe too many :beer: :beer: :beer:

  7. avatar Mug Punters Organisation of South Africa says:
    June 12th, 2014 at 12:29 pm

    Hargreaves is available and so is Methos…Lood is a good player

    I think the Welsh might win this one. We were not that good against a hacked upside with some players been below their ability like Raner and Gear.

    Worried too many Grandpas…we will have to keep it tight.

  8. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    June 12th, 2014 at 1:38 pm

    @Mug Punters Organisation of South Africa: Easy win for the Boks

  9. avatar Aldo says:
    June 12th, 2014 at 2:18 pm

    Haha Sasori, argueing with bekke is like talking with a rock. Not because he is hard and filled with inner peace, but rather stupid and hard headed.

  10. avatar Mug Punters Organisation of South Africa says:
    June 13th, 2014 at 5:54 am

    Respect everyones opinion and play nice…LOL says me..bit rich calling someone a monkey…

    @Jacques(Bunny): I hope so but what do you base that on?

  11. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    June 13th, 2014 at 6:15 am

    @Mug Punters Organisation of South Africa: Solid forwards…..and even if alot of people are crying about Frans, I do think Serfontein with JP will be a better combination in the midfield…we do not lose allot in defense with Serfontein their and we have great speed on the wings with Fourie back at 9…..

    Wales have injuries and are not at full tilt.

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