Home #LoveRugby Combined Bok, Roses XV

Combined Bok, Roses XV

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England have continued to grow and it is their systems that are now reflecting their world class potential, writes Benedict Chanakira

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The English have responded from a disastrous World cup campaign, as they stormed to the Six Nations Grand Slam. A tour to Australia saw the Roses cruise to a 3-0 thrashing of the Wallabies. Eddie Jones has added an arrogance to his side and made use of the work Stuart Lancaster put in.

Will this be the official torch exchange? Will England beat South Africa for the first time in 10 years to complete a 4-0 drubbing (Saxons have two wins, England u20) of all Springbok senior sides? Do the Springboks still have something in the tank or will they succumb to more misery? So much hangs in the balance this weekend with the Springboks fighting to stay in the top 4.

England have continued to grow and it is their systems that are now reflecting their world class potential. The English have responded from a disastrous World cup campaign, as they stormed to the Six Nations Grand Slam. A tour to Australia saw the Roses cruise to a 3-0 thrashing of the Wallabies. Eddie Jones has added an arrogance to his side and made use of the work Stuart Lancaster put in.

Will this be the official torch exchange? Will England beat South Africa for the first time in 10 years to complete a 4-0 drubbing (Saxons have two wins, England u20) of all Springbok senior sides? Do the Springboks still have something in the tank or will they succumb to more misery? So much hangs in the balance this weekend with the Springboks fighting to stay in the top 4.

England have 6 first choice players missing through injury and the task will not be any easier for the Springboks. RuggaWorld have compiled a combined England and South Africa XV:

15.Mike Brown (England) – A safe fullback with a shade of adventure. Brown is in ahead of Willie le Roux as the Harlequins man has been reliable at Test level. Brown has displayed superb aerial skills and will be a threat to the Boks should they kick aimlessly this weekend. A leader in that England side and will be out to have a big game.

14.Ruan Combrinck (South Africa) – The Lions flyer has had an impressive season and has returned in time to slot into the Springbok XV. He has managed to make an instant impact at Test level and edges the electric Marland Yarde. Yarde surprisingly managed to get selected ahead of Semesa Rokoduguni but gets trumped by Ruan as an all-round winger. Combrinck’s cannon of a boot adds to his already impressive arsenal.

13.Elliot Daly (England) – Midfield excellence. Daly defends well, great acceleration, evasive skillset and a monster boot. One of the most intelligent players in the England set up. A creative player who will also be making his first start this weekend. He takes on a debutant in Francois Venter and the duel will be one to watch. Daly is favorite to win the battle and will prove to be a threat if the Springboks defensive efforts are poor.

12.Owen Farrell (England) – World Rugby Player of the year nominee for a second time. The Saracens flyhalf can play both 10 and 12 and was key in England’s rise, Saracens’ dominance and will be the man to watch this weekend. Farrell will be tasked with the goal-kicking and is a second playmaker. Owen is equally at home with a direct approach should he be required to switch it up. His opposite number Damian de Allende has had no confidence all year and yards behind in terms of form. There is only one winner in this battle and he isn’t South African.

11.JP Pietersen (South Africa) – JP is having an impressive Premiership season and has been drafted into the Springbok squad after exclusion. He faces the speedy Johnny May in this match up and is ahead in most facets. May, who is down the pecking order in the England wing ranks, has been offered a chance to prove his quality with an eye on 2019. The Gloucester winger has electric pace and his try against New Zealand is proof. The Springbok World Cup winner will bolster his side ahead of a must win clash against England and should prove a vital cog in the clash. JP’s size, experience and vision will prove key.

10.Pat Lambie (South Africa) – This has to have been the toughest call to make. George has been a fantastic 10 and showed excellent form for Bath however, Pat Lambie has had to get on with the job and go straight into the Bok set up while showing flashes of his commanding abilities. Pat’s arguably the most all round 10 in South Africa who leans slightly towards a conservative approach. Both 10’s have shown a bit of vulnerability in defence, but the all-round abilities of Pat Lambie give him the edge.

9.Ben Youngs (England) – Good kicking game, great distribution and keeps defence honest around the fringes. Youngs has been a reliable half back and his battle with Danny Care one to always keep an eye on. His experience and much more thorough execution leaves him ahead of Rudy Paige who has been impressive in his last few games. Paige could be making a strong case to be Springbok 9 jersey and has to take on the Leicester Tigers veteran this weekend.

8.Billy Vunipola (England) – There was always going to be one winner in the 8 jumper. Despite Whiteley proving to be quick on his feet and very skillful; it is the Billy Vunipola who has been a terror for opposition. At 125kg the Saracens man has been in superb form after he shed a few kilograms and continued to develop his game. You want anyone to win you the gain line battle. This is your go to man.

7.Pieter-Steph du Toit (South Africa) – The South African Player of the year has a tough match against the English this weekend. He makes a switch to the backrow and will be expected to be dominant and set the tone. He is part of a much more direct Springbok loose trio and will need to lead the Springbok side in a physical onslaught. Last time du Toit was at blind side from the onset the Springboks played Japan.

6.Chris Robshaw (England) – The former captain has recovered from a disastrous campaign and has kept his role in the side. He is a grafter and always reliable. Robshaw is also much more mobile and will be wearing the 6 jersey in our combined XV.

5.Franco Mostert (South Africa) – The best lock in the Springbok set up. Mostert has been superb in Super Rugby and when he has pulled on the Springbok jersey, he has not let them down. The Lions man has proven to being a line out operator, strong ball carrier and is equally at home in the backrow as he is at lock. Facing challenges from Eben Etzebeth, Lood de Jager and Joe Launchbury there is only one victor in this surprise selection.

4.Courtney Lawes (England) – Set to feature in his 50th Test; Lawes is the perfect enforcer. A line out tower, a big tackler and athletic. The Northampton Saint lock will feature as an additional loose forward for the English and will be the player most prepared to take on the Springboks physically upfront. Lawes thrives in that department and has the ability to put in a confidence sapping hit on any flyhalf.

3.Dan Cole (England) – The Leicester Tigers prop is easily on the twilight of his career and has young Kieran Brooks and Kyle Sinckler in his rear view mirror. The Leicester Tigers man has the experience and composure at scrum time but what makes him much more impressive is his work at the breakdown. The British and Irish Lions prop will be hoping to give Beast a tough time this weekend and that will be a key battle for the English in a bid for scrum dominance.

2.Adriaan Strauss (South Africa) – The battle of the captains. Strauss edges Hartley because of his set piece excellence and his recent form surge. Strauss is playing in one of his last few Springbok games and his form has improved in the last few matches. Strauss is excellent in his core roles and is sharper than Dylan Hartley.

1.Mako Vunipola (England) – A rampaging bull who has an excellent rugby brain and impressive evasive skills. Mako has been in superb form, providing scrum security but more importantly has managed to showcase his skillset as a prop with deft handling and great footwork. Vunipola continues to knock on the best loosehead prop in the world door and destroying the South African scrum which has been superb could be his doorway.

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4 COMMENTS

  1. Don’t about some of those like Combrink over Yardes and Lawes over Eben… but I’m certainly happy to see two size-able wings with a boot…

  2. Holy smokes… Boks paying 5-1! Worse odds I’ve seen for a 10 match streaking team in quite some time…

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