Two changes for Boks side

June 18, 2014
Posted by

saru

There are two changes to the Springbok team to face Wales in Nelspruit, with prop Tendai ‘Beast’ Mtawarira and lock Flip van der Merwe in the starting line-up.

Mtawarira returns at loosehead prop, with Gurthrö Steenkamp reverting to the bench, while Flip van der Merwe will partner captain Victor Matfield in the second row in the place of Bakkies Botha.

The only other change to the team is amongst the backline reserves, where Wynand Olivier replaces the injured Johan Goosen to provide necessary midfield cover. Ruan Pienaar will provide backup for scrumhalf and flyhalf, while Lwazi Mvovo can cover fullback and wing.

Matfield will become the most-capped Test player in the history of South African rugby when he leads the Springboks against Wales in his 112th Test match at the Mbombela Stadium.

Matfield made his Test debut on 30 June 2001 against Italy in Port Elizabeth. He retired after the World Cup in 2011 on 110 caps, but made a highly successful return to the game earlier this year.

“This is a fantastic accolade for Victor,” said Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer on Wednesday.

“He has been a terrific servant of the game in South Africa and has led his country with distinction since returning to the Green and Gold.

“When he returned to the game earlier this season, he set his goals on becoming a Springbok yet again and he’s worked extremely hard to get there. I don’t think anyone can doubt that he deserves his place in the team and he’s also been a great interim captain, with Jean de Villiers out injured.”

Commenting on the team selection, Meyer said it was an easy decision to stick with the core of the team which beat the Welsh last weekend in Durban.

“I’ve always preferred to stick with a winning combination and the changes to the team were both part of our planning,” said Meyer.

“The backline really performed well last weekend and we would like to give them another opportunity to play together, as there were a number of new combinations.

“The same applies up front. Bakkies is fit for selection, but we decided to manage his workload this week and I know Flip, who has been outstanding in the last two seasons, will slot back in easily. The same goes for ‘Beast’, who upped the tempo with his work rate last weekend.”

Meyer said he is expecting another tough challenge from Wales this weekend.

“They’ve had another week together and will be keen to lift their game on Saturday, but at the same time we were not happy with certain aspects of our game and we’ve worked hard to rectify that,” said Meyer.

“This is their last match of the season, so we’re expecting them to come out firing. But we also want to make a step up and ensure we keep on improving as the season progresses.”

South Africa: 15 Willie le Roux, 14 Cornal Hendricks, 13 JP Pietersen, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Fourie du Preez, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Willem Alberts, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Victor Matfield (captain), 4 Flip van der Merwe ,3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Replacements: 16 Schalk Brits, 17 Gurthrö Steenkamp, 18 Coenie Oosthuizen, 19 Lodewyk de Jager, 20 Schalk Burger, 21 Ruan Pienaar, 22 Wynand Olivier, 23 Lwazi Mvovo.

Date: Saturday, June 21
Venue: Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit
Kick-off: 15.00 (13.00 GMT)
Referee: Steve Walsh (Australia)
Assistant referees: Romain Poite (France), Francesco Pastrana (Argentina)
TMO: Glenn Newman (New Zealand)

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7 Comments

  1. avatar Aldo says:
    June 18th, 2014 at 1:47 pm

    All seemed fine today. Just another sunny day in PTA, and I started reading the team, thought everything in the world makes sense. Then I see meisiekind’s name. Now I know we have a lot of injuries, to many to mention and meisiekind was decent for the world 15. But really? Oh well, let’s shut up and trust in the wisdom of Heyneke. He hasnt been wrong a lot.

  2. avatar bryce_in_oz says:
    June 18th, 2014 at 1:49 pm

    Not many surprises here… but two questions…

    When is JDP getting rotated?

    Just what is going to happen when JPP, FDP, Habana and a few other are not available for the RC???

  3. avatar Mug Punters Organisation of South Africa says:
    June 19th, 2014 at 6:17 am

    @Aldo: I agree am very suprised to see him there too.

    Even Fdup I just cant see him either…really should be looking to the future. Of Ruan and Fdup are out then part timers come in at 9. Oh yes Habadonna at scrumhalf.

    Even JJ plus I would have played Lood first up instead of the often walking yellow card Flippie.

  4. avatar DavidS says:
    June 19th, 2014 at 9:00 am

    @bryce_in_oz:

    What is RC?

    World Cup?

  5. avatar DavidS says:
    June 19th, 2014 at 9:02 am

    @Mug Punters Organisation of South Africa:

    You’re right

    The All Bllacks also need to get rid of those ueseless wastes of black jerseys Oupa Dan, Oupa Tana and that even most useless oupagroetjie Richie McCaw…

    Thank heavens Toulon dropped that pathetic old timer Johnny Wilkinson in time for this season’s Top 14 and the same for that useless dork Os Du Randt Jake White was lucky to get rid of him when he did…

    And as for those doddering old idiots like Martin Johnson and Jason Leonard… thank heavens Sir Clive Woodward looked to the future and didn’t take them to the 2003 World Cup….

    Oh wait…

  6. avatar Aldo says:
    June 19th, 2014 at 10:59 am

    Haha that was funny dawie.

    Interestingly, I see over the last 4 world cups the avg age of the winner from 99 were 27, 28, 27, and 28 again at last world cup. Our current avg age in the squad is 29 according to my cousin google. So with Eben etsebeth, PSTD and Pollard sure to get a look in going forward, 28 should be our avg age at the next world cup.

  7. avatar Mug Punters Organisation of South Africa says:
    June 20th, 2014 at 1:22 am

    You go on about your cousin’s the All Blacks but just leave Wilko out of this. He is not a soft poofda like those kiwi names you mentioned.

    Anyway I mentioned Fdup and Blondie and not the others…we do need an attacking scrum half around the fringes as this, like the pop pass off the ground speeds up the games and draws the defenders closer to the ruck. Our traditional game plan lends the bOks to attacking scrummies and think of all those awesome FDUP and Joost tries around the rucks. Plays mayhem with defensive structures.

    Fdup does not have the speed anymore, wish he did though.

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