A few tweaks for Springboks second test against England

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Tendai Mtawarira will make his 100th Test appearance for South Africa in Bloemfontein on Saturday in the second Test in the Castle Lager Incoming Series against England, becoming only the sixth Springbok to reach this special milestone. Kick-off at the Toyota Stadium is at 17h05.

The 32-year-old Mtawarira, better known as “Beast”, is the first Springbok prop to reach a century of Test caps and he joins an elite group of only seven props who have made 100 or more Test appearances.

Mtawarira will anchor the Springbok scrum in his milestone Test alongside hooker Bongi Mbonambi and Frans Malherbe, who makes a return to the front row after a lengthy absence due to injury.

Malherbe’s inclusion is one of only two changes in the starting team that beat England 42-39 last weekend in Johannesburg. He replaces his DHL Stormers team mate Wilco Louw. The other change sees Pieter-Steph du Toit returning to the starting fifteen in the No 7 jersey, with Jean-Luc du Preez moving to the bench.

Mtawarira made his Springbok debut exactly 10 years against Wales, on 14 June 2008 in Pretoria at the age of 22. The following year he was an instrumental figure in the Springbok tight five as he helped to steer the South Africans to a memorable 2-1 series win over the British & Irish Lions.

Since then, the soft-spoken front rower has established himself as a mainstay for the Cell C Sharks – he has 146 Vodacom Super Rugby caps to his name – and the Springboks. Apart from his 99 Tests, Mtawarira has also played in three tour matches for the Springboks to date, with two Test tries to his name.

Rassie Erasmus, the SA Rugby Director of Rugby, paid tribute to Mtawarira, whom he described as a great servant to Springbok rugby and a very good professional.

“Much like a typical front rower, ‘Beast’ is not someone who likes the spotlight,” said Erasmus.

“However, his contribution to Springbok rugby during the past decade has been enormous and I want to congratulate him on reaching 100 Test caps for South Africa.

“It is a special achievement and while he deserves the accolades, I know he will be totally focussed on the most important job, and that is to face an extremely determined England side on Saturday in Bloem.”

Erasmus added that an improved performance will be needed from the Springboks when the two sides meet again at the Toyota Stadium.

“England is a powerful side and I know Eddie Jones will have his team super prepared for Saturday,” said Erasmus.

“They will no doubt want to bounce back to level the series, so it’s going to be another huge Test of our resolve and character.”

The Springbok team to face England in Bloemfontein (in order of name and surname, franchise/club, caps and points):
15. Willie le Roux (Wasps, England, 42, 55 – 11t)
14. S’busiso Nkosi (Cell C Sharks, 1, 10 – 2t)
13. Lukhanyo Am (Cell C Sharks, 2, 0)
12. Damian de Allende (DHL Stormers, 29, 15 – 3t)
11. Aphiwe Dyantyi (Emirates Lions, 1, 5 – 1t)
10. Handré Pollard (Vodacom Bulls, 27, 235 – 3t, 41c, 43p, 3d)
9. Faf de Klerk (Sale Sharks, England, 12, 5 -1t)
8. Duane Vermeulen (Unattached, 40, 10 – 2t)
7. Pieter-Steph du Toit (DHL Stormers, 34, 20 – 4t)
6. Siya Kolisi (DHL Stormers, 29, 20 – 4t) – captain
5. Franco Mostert (Emirates Lions, 19, 5 – 1t)
4. RG Snyman (Vodacom Bulls, 1, 0)
3. Frans Malherbe (DHL Stormers, 17, 0)
2. Bongi Mbonambi (DHL Stormers, 15, 5 – 1t)
1. Tendai Mtawarira (Cell C Sharks, 99, 10 – 2t)
Replacements:
16. Akker van der Merwe (Cell C Sharks, 2, 0)
17. Steven Kitshoff (DHL Stormers, 25, 5 – 1t)
18. Thomas du Toit (Cell C Sharks, 2, 0)
19. Jean-Luc du Preez (Cell C Sharks, 11, 10 – 2t)
20. Sikhumbuzo Notshe (DHL Stormers, 2, 0)
21. Ivan van Zyl (Vodacom Bulls, 2, 0)
22. Jesse Kriel (Vodacom Bulls, 30, 40 – 8t)
23. Warrick Gelant (Vodacom Bulls, 3, 5 – 1t)

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

23 COMMENTS

  1. Wat de fok maak Jesse hoender Poephol Kriel daar????? Happy with the rest of the team – and as I predicted. I would have included Esterhuizen on bench. Notshe and Van Zyl beyond useless by default, but maybe Rassie sees something in them that he can coach. Saturday will be a lot harder than last week!

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  2. Tweaks?

    Having zero back-up 10 ain’t no tweak…
    The continual failed experiment of PSDT (a lock) at blind-side ain’t no tweak…
    Playing one of the only specialist blind-siders (as a bench lock) ain’t no tweak…
    Persisting with a ‘utility’ loose-forward that is so far out-of-his-depth ain’t no tweak…

    Meanwhile Australia and New Zealand play their exact same teams.

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  3. Jesse has had a good season at the bulls so far, Mitch seems to have sorted his game out, no problem with his inclusion, probably a better bet than Am right now as a 13.

    I would have preferred Estherhuizen in stead of De Allende, but give DDA his dues, apart from a poor tackle attempt early in last week’s game, he had a pretty solid game.

    PSdT also did nothing wrong at 7, and much like Danie Rossouw, he is fine at 7 or lock.

    I’m wondering who will cover at 10 if Pollard gets injured, probably Willie, with Gelant coming in at 15?

    Generally, a good team, good luck lads, you made me proud last week, do it again.

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  4. Willie is backup at 10, Gelant at 15, like last week people are reading too much into the selections at the moment, new coaches, new players and new plan to be ready for Aus and NZ in Rugby Championship and WC next year.

    Rassie has his plan and want to see certain players in certain positions and how they go.

    For the first time we have a Springbok coach that tells us what he is doing so all of this has been said by Rassie throughout the week.

    We need to stop saying AB and Aus did this and that, they have settle coaches in position for two years and more and group of players that have been tested and those two coaches know their players in their positions. Rassie still getting there after two game

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  5. @Jacques: Nobody is saying “ABs and Aus is doing this or that”??? Or am I missing some postings? It was clear from right after the game last Saturday what he will be doing (just go and read my post smile). I said that he will replace Wilco and bring in Bomskok de Toit – great that he parked the crab Jantjes for now (he may well bring him in again soon).

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  6. @Jacques:

    I didn’t compare them… I inferred that the AB’s and Aussies are going for the series win first then ‘tweaking’. Hence zero change, particularly with the Aussies who have also recently capped a fair newbies.

    Willie Le Roux as ‘back-up’ 10… the guy have never played there in his professional career… that is not ‘tweaking’.

    Why play Gellant at all if you are going to include Kriel in the backline who covers 13,14,15 and then you can include a ‘real’ 10.

    Having Notshe ‘and’ JLDP with no lock is being disingenuous too.

    Going to be interesting to see Shields start in his correct position… he is a freaking machine.

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  7. Actually it’s total bullshit that England can select shields and vunipola bros. Those 3 turn a very mediocre England pack into a v good one. Again, not sure Messiah has done the right thing dropping JLDP and pulling in malherbe, but let’s see. He’s a slim old fox.

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  8. @cab:

    Why not the Vunipola brothers? They were raised in the UK as lighties and went through the entire rugby schooling system and academies.

    Shields yes I agree. To walk into the team, in a leadership role no doubt, via an ‘expedited’ Brit passport and without even a single club rugby game to his name is a bit of a rort. But then we do have the Beast playing his 100 test after starting off with no more than a working visa in South Africa. That Shields turned down a sure place in this years team is even more puzzling. The Pom must be strong in this one.

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  9. Ok I thought vunipolas plucked straight outa oz, but shields is complete crap. Guy is basically an All Black. I couldn’t care less if laughtbury plays , he’s crap, but shields for robshaw changes that whole pack. It’s bullshit this was allowed.

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  10. Boks have got Marx and etsebeth missing who are peerless in world rugby. England pretty much hate their strongest pack and they’ve still been allowed to pick an in-form new Zealander. Jones is smart as hell but this is not on.

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  11. @bryce_in_oz:

    Bryce, only reason I can think of why Rassie is playing Pieter-Steph in the plave of Jean-Luc is lineouts. Unfortunately JL’s lineout game is not as good as what we have grown used to with our best blindsides over the years.

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  12. @Craven:

    With all due respect… that is bollocks. RG Snyman (we need a nickname for him) took pretty much every ball last weekend. Replace Mostert with PSDT… JLDP where he is… boot Notshe into touch… and bring in Roeloff Smit for some insane imapact with Mostert.

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  13. I had a colleague in the army years ago who’s surname was Snyman too, and his name was Snakes.

    One huge bugger too, much the same as RG.

    How about that name, Snakes Snyman?

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