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Boks make 3 changes


The Springboks have gone for continuity in selection as Pat Lambie was named to start at flyhalf when the team faces Ireland on Saturday in the opening Test of the Castle Outgoing Tour at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.

The 22-year-old Lambie’s inclusion at pivot in the place of the injured Johan Goosen is one of only three changes to the team that started in the Springboks’ last Test, against New Zealand in Soweto last month. The other two are also forced by injury.

JP Pietersen returns at right wing while Juandré Kruger takes over at lock, respectively for Bryan Habana and Andries Bekker, who were both ruled out of the tour because of injury.

“I’m excited to see what Pat can bring to the team,” said Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer.

“He played very well in the last few weeks of the Absa Currie Cup and hopefully he can bring that momentum with him on Saturday.

“It’s also good to have JP back. He’s had a great season and will want to finish the season on a high. At lock, there has been strong competition for the No 5 jersey all season and now Juandré gets an opportunity again.”

For the first time, the Springboks have named an eight-man replacement bench, in line with the new laws that determine a full front row of two specialist props and a hooker have to be selected.

Returning to Springbok duty for the first time since 2008 is Schalk Brits, who will start on the bench next to CJ van der Linde and Pat Cilliers. Should Brits make an appearance, it will be his first Test for South Africa since 2008 while Van der Linde has not appeared for the team since the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

“Schalk is an explosive player who can bring something special off the bench,” said Meyer. “CJ is very experienced and knows the conditions here quite well, as he played for Leinster for two seasons,” said Meyer.

Meyer said the match would be a major Test in trying conditions for his young team. A temperature of around five degrees is forecast for Saturday afternoon, while winds and a 25% chance of showers are also predicted.

“I’ve said from the outset that I’d like to see which of the players can handle the Northern Hemisphere conditions on this tour, as it will be the same for the Rugby World Cup in 2015,” said Meyer.

“We’ll be facing an Ireland team that is never an easy opponent in Dublin. The Springboks have only won one of their last four Tests here and since they lost at Aviva Stadium against South Africa in November 2010, they have recorded a number of good victories at their home ground.

“They will also be desperate to get back to winning ways after winning two of their eight Tests this season, which, to my mind, is not a true reflection of how good the Irish really are. But we’re in a similar situation and would like to start this tour on a positive note.”

Furthermore, Meyer confirmed today that Leinster prop Heinke van der Merwe has been called up to the Springbok squad for the duration of the tour. He played in his only Test for South Africa against Wales in November 2007, and he toured with the Springboks at the end of the 2009 season.

Gurthrö Steenkamp, who joined the squad on Tuesday evening, is struggling with a light niggle. Van der Merwe’s call-up provides extra cover at loosehead prop.

“Heinke has played for South Africa before and is based in Dublin, making it easy for him to join the squad. I’ve been following his career and he has been playing well for Leinster, who are the Heineken Cup champions,” said Meyer.

The Springbok team to face Ireland in Dublin is:

Position Name Province Test Caps
15 Zane Kirchner Vodacom Blue Bulls 21
14 JP Pietersen The Sharks 45
13 Jaco Taute MTN Golden Lions 2
12 Jean de Villiers (captain) DHL Western Province 81
11 Francois Hougaard Vodacom Blue Bulls 24
10 Pat Lambie The Sharks 17
9 Ruan Pienaar Ulster, N-Ireland 60
8 Duane Vermeulen DHL Western Province 4
7 Willem Alberts The Sharks 17
6 Francois Louw Bath, England 14
5 Juandré Kruger Vodacom Blue Bulls 5
4 Eben Etzebeth DHL Western Province 8
3 Jannie du Plessis The Sharks 39
2 Adriaan Strauss (vice-captain) Toyota FS Cheetahs 18
1 Tendai Mtawarira The Sharks 41
16 Schalk Brits Saracens, England 3
17 CJ van der Linde MTN Golden Lions 73
18 Pat Cilliers MTN Golden Lions 4
19 Flip van der Merwe Vodacom Blue Bulls 20
20 Marcell Coetzee The Sharks 9
21 Morné Steyn Vodacom Blue Bulls 41
22 Juan de Jongh DHL Western Province 12
23 Lwazi Mvovo The Sharks 7

Stats and facts:

  • Saturday’s Test will be the 21st between South Africa and Ireland. In the 20 Tests they have played against each other since 1906, South Africa have won 15, lost 4 and one match was drawn (in 1970). Points for: 401; Points against: 236; average score: 20-12.
  • South Africa and Ireland last met on 6 November 2010 at Aviva Stadium, which was Ireland’s first Test match at the venue. South Africa won by 23-21.
  • Morné Steyn is the most capped Springbok flyhalf, with 40 Tests. He also holds the record for the most career tries in Tests as a flyhalf, with seven.
  • Morné needs 14 points to reach 500 career points in Tests for the Springboks. He also needs two drop goals to equal Naas Botha’s career record of three drop goals against Ireland and 11 points to equal Percy Montgomery’s career record of 32 points in Tests against Ireland in Dublin.
  • Jean de Villiers will extend his record as the most capped Springbok centre – he is currently on 66 Tests in this position. He will captain the Springboks for the 10th time on Saturday.
  • Should CJ van der Linde be used as a substitute, he will join Ruan Pienaar on 35 Tests as a replacement, the second most by a Springbok. CJ will then also become the most capped Springbok against Ireland in his seventh cap against this country.
  • Wayne Barnes of England is the referee. In the seven Tests he’s refereed involving South Africa, the Springboks have won four and lost three.
  • Springbok Test match records in Dublin against Ireland.

o   Most points – 12 by Percy Montgomery (3c, 2p) in 1998 and again (4p) in 2004.

o   Most tries – three each by Jan Stegmann and Boetie McHardy at Lansdowne Road in 1912.

o   Most conversions – three each by Gerhard Morkel in 1912 and by Percy Montgomery in 1998.

o   Most penalty goals – four by Percy Montgomery in 2004.

o   Most drop goals – one each by Hansie Brewis in 1951 and by Morné Steyn in 2009.


  1. Juandre hasn’t impressed me at all… and Mvovu should be nowhere near a Bok Jersey with such poor positional play (arguably the same reasoning for Hougaard)…

  2. de Jongh should have started with Taute on the bench but other than that and considering the injuries this isn’t a bad team.

  3. Lol at Heyneke.

    Kirchener at 15, Hougaard at 11, Taute at 13. De Jongh on the bench, and all of a sudden Jantjies has been leapfrogged by both Lambie and Morne? It’s a joke.

    What has Hougaard done to keep his place against real wingers? What has Taute done after a few cameos for the Lions and not so good performances for the Boks to justify his place over De Jongh?

    Seriously Heyneke, what are you trying to do on this tour? You’ve got Hougaard keeping Habana’s place on the wing, Taute keeping a centre position warm for the return of Francois Steyn. You have indicated that you see Taute as a fullback, yet continue to play him in the centres.

    Why not try different combinations on this tour? The mind boggles.

  4. Just can’t win

    Craven in a single post decries inconsistent and consistent selection…

    Mother of God….

    Just start a “I hate Heyneke” teeshirt company already…

    Perhaps you missed the Wales SA rugby match in RWC last year when we were saved by Hougaard outplaying arguably two of the finest European wingers…

    And missed the squeals of horror of Jantjes’ selection and “third rate” play…

  5. Heyneke seems to fall smack bang into the ‘lukewarm’ category.

    He does not want to lose so he has these “safe” players hanging about but he also wants to build so he has some excitation spread around…

    Yet, and I am willing to bet good money on it:

    had all the old 2007 stalwarts been avaiable he would have selected every single one of them, and these young guys would have not even been in the picture.

    If Ireland goes wrong, and I reckon it might, then a 1 out of 3 for this tour is a desirable outcome.

  6. Reply to The Year of the Cheetah @ 9:26 pm: yep this is about the coaches winning percentages more than anything else.

    HM is clueless. He should have trailed Elton already but saying that any monkey could have told him that Lambei should be flyhalf.

    Jean at 12 to me thats the biggest shocker. His team wins when hs is not playing 12.

    Taute is much better than DeJongh especially kicking but I would have had Taute at FBack though as SideshowBob is well emmm consistant but not exceptional. There are some that disagree but those some said Lance never ever took drugs!!!!

    So to point 1 is this is going to be a kicking winning percentage game plan tour.

    We might see Brits at 12.

  7. Reply to DavidS @ 7:29 pm: The t-shirt company is a great idea, you can put in an order for your ‘I hate WP shirt’.

    I can’t see much wrong with this team. I would have prevered De Jonge at 13, but Heyneke prevers bigger centres, and Taute has very good all round skills.

    Hougaard is not a long term solution at wing, and surely hasn’t outplayed any word class wings this season. The alternatives, Rhule(inexperienced) and Mvovu(out of form) doesn’t deserve a place above Hougaard at the moment.

    Steyn and Jantjies both had mediocre performances in the CC semi-finals, it seems like Heyneke went for experience.

    Vermeulen is one player that needs to step up, he has had enough games to improve his match fitness, and still seams a little of the pace.

  8. Far be it from me to defend Meyer, but his selections do make sense.

    His backline is a work in progress, with Frans Steyn and Habana out, he is missing 130 plus caps of experience.

    As he said himself he would have liked to play Pietersen at 13 and Taute at 15, but his back three is inexperienced without JP and Habana at 11 and 14, so he has no choice to play JP at 14, with relaitvely experienced Zane and Francois at 15 and 11 respectively.

    Hence for now this is what it is, I do agree that Juan de Jongh should get game time, be it in the second 40 or earlier if things go wrong with Taute.

  9. Reply to DavidS @ 7:29 pm:

    David, angry much? You are a laugh a minute with your constant rants on this site.:lol:

    “Perhaps you missed the Wales SA rugby match in RWC last year when we were saved by Hougaard outplaying arguably two of the finest European wingers”

    Uhm no, in fact, I distinctly remember Hougaard coming on as an impact player, and not that he held fulltime wingers out of team. I also seem to recall that the WC was held in 2011 and that we are now at the end of 2012?

    Would you like to name an instant in the recent past where Hougaard saved any team’s bacon playing at WING?

    Your rants are pathetic, really. We all have the right to voice our opinions, and that is exactly what they are, our opinions. Why should anyone on here shut up and toe the party line just becaue you happen to agree with Heyneke?

    Just relax dude, live and let live, what is this site other than affording us the opportunity to voice opinions on rugby related articles?

  10. Look I can understand many of Meyers choices.

    My big gripe is that he seems to lack ambition. He wants a solid win/loss ration and thats all that matters.

    By doing so he currently looks shite and its bound to continue if he selects a Kirchner on a end year tour when he can try out Taute.

    “we will be exposed at the back without experience”

    my arse.

    Look how “exposed” WP was with all their youngsters.

    With Habana and JdV off the field I knew for sure the guys could win it.

    With Kirchie and JdV for Boks we are just doing damage control – we are not showing balls toward a brave new future.

  11. Reply to The Year of the Cheetah @ 11:19 am:

    What absolute bollocks… test rugby is not the place for total experimentation and there has been PLENTY of that by the so-called ‘lacking in ambition’ Heyneke Meyer…

    Just how many more youngsters did you expect him to ‘trial’ (on a fan’s gut-feeling)… look at the amount of caps he’s handed out already this season some like Coetzee with great success and many non-Bulls… not to mention bringing form players like one of your old wet-dreams in Brits back…

  12. U just know bok rugby is in shit when just 1 player currently representing Freestate take steh field

    I did say currently … never mind the stolen

  13. No Decent srumhalf in that lot … big mistake

  14. Reply to DavidS @ 9:22 am:

    He had a couple of MOM performances in a losing team… but in the end they saw him for what he is… good sniping player around the fringes… but… his passing is woeful, he has no kicking game and he slips too many tackles… hence he slipped down the pecking order…

    So no he is not test quality…

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