Springbok team announced for Cape Town Test

Sep 24 • General News, International, Springboks, The Rugby Championship • 4621 Views • Comments Off on Springbok team announced for Cape Town Test

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Photo: Etienne Burger

 

The Springbok starting line-up to face Australia shows three changes, with Teboho “Oupa” Mohoje and Francois Hougaard included for Saturday’s fifth round Test in the Castle Lager Rugby Championship at DHL Newlands in Cape Town.

 

Francois Louw’s injury means a positional switch for Marcell Coetzee in the starting team. There is a further four changes on the bench, with Cobus Reinach in line to make his Springbok debut alongside the experienced trio of Bakkies Botha, Schalk Burger and JP Pietersen.

 

The Springbok selectors opted for continuity, retaining the core of the squad that performed well but came up short in tough away fixtures against Australia and New Zealand earlier this month.

 

“Injuries forced our hand with Francois and Ruan Pienaar not available, but Hougie and Oupa have been part of the squad for the entire season and I’ve got the utmost confidence in them making the step up,” said Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer.

 

“Francois brings different strengths to the team at No 9 and has an opportunity to demonstrate the contribution he can make on Saturday, while Oupa is more of a traditional blindside flanker who will get another opportunity to show what he can do in his breakthrough season. He has really come on in leaps and bounds this season and responded to the goals set for him.”

 

Mohoje will get his first start for the Springboks after making his debut off the bench against Scotland in June. It will be another milestone in a remarkable season, in which he started playing Varsity and Vodacom Cup rugby before getting his break in Vodacom Super Rugby after the Toyota Cheetahs lost a number of loose forwards to injury.

 

It will be Hougaard’s first start for the Springboks since the final Test in 2012, against England at Twickenham.

 

Meyer said tactical needs had led to the changes on the bench: “We felt we needed a couple of cool and experienced heads late in our matches and that is where Bakkies, Schalk, JP, Pat Lambie and Bismarck du Plessis will play a vital role – all of them have more than 30 caps.

 

“I’m also very happy for Cobus, who will follow in the footsteps of his late father having never even played first team at school or any national representative rugby, which is a great compliment for the structures at the Sharks.”

 

Meyer said the team was under no illusions about Saturday’s Test: “It will be a very tough outing and we will have to fire on all cylinders for the full 80 minutes,” he said. “It’s great to be back in South Africa after three tough matches on the road and we’re really looking forward to playing in front of our own supporters again.

 

“We’ve had a couple of great training sessions and have been working hard on all aspects of our game this week. There is a definite resolve to improve the quality of our performance on Saturday.”

 

In line with an agreement with the provinces, Lwazi Mvovo and Warren Whiteley have been released to play in the Absa Currie Cup this weekend. They will re-join the Springbok squad in Johannesburg on Sunday.

 

 

The Springbok team to face Australia in Cape Town is:

 

Position

Name

Test Caps

Test points

15

Willie le Roux

19

35

14

Cornal Hendricks

7

25

13

Jan Serfontein

14

5

12

Jean de Villiers (captain)

100

125

11

Bryan Habana

101

280

10

Handré Pollard

4

34

9

Francois Hougaard

30

20

8

Duane Vermeulen

23

10

7

Teboho “Oupa” Mohoje

1

0

6

Marcell Coetzee

20

20

5

Victor Matfield (vice-captain)

115

35

4

Eben Etzebeth

27

0

3

Jannie du Plessis

58

5

2

Adriaan Strauss

38

25

1

Tendai Mtawarira

59

10

Replacements:

16

Bismarck du Plessis

64

45

17

Trevor Nyakane

7

5

18

Marcel van der Merwe

3

0

19

Bakkies Botha

81

35

20

Schalk Burger

71

65

21

Cobus Reinach

0

0

22

Pat Lambie

34

68

23

JP Pietersen

54

85

 

Stats and facts:

 

  • The Springbok starting team boasts a total of 615 Test caps (274 in the backline and 341 in the forwards), while there are a further 314 caps worth of experience on the bench.

 

  • South Africa and Australia have played each other 79 times since 1933, with the Springboks winning 44 Tests, losing 34 and one was drawn. The Springboks have scored 1,524 points and 180 tries and conceded 1,381 points and 141 tries for an average score of 19-17.

 

  • Jean de Villiers will extend his record as the most-capped Springbok centre, with 85 Tests in this position. He will also extend his South African Record of 48 Castle Lager Rugby Championship matches and will captain South Africa for the 29th time, which places him equal third with Francois Pienaar. John Smit (83) and Gary Teichmann (36) are the only players to have captained South Africa on more occasions.

 

  • Victor Matfield will extend his record as the most-capped Springbok in history (115 Tests). He will also extend his record of 115 Tests as a lock and will be playing against Australia for the 26th time to extend his record.

 

  • Bryan Habana will extend his record as the most-capped Springbok wing, with 100 Tests in this position. If he scores a try, he will extend his record of 56 Test tries for South Africa as well as his Castle Lager Rugby Championship record of 18 tries.

 

  • If he goes on Cobus Reinach will become Springbok No. 864. He and his late father Jaco will become the 12th pair of father and sons to play for South Africa, the previous pair being Flip and Flippie van der Merwe. Jaco, who played four Tests for South Africa in 1986 against the New Zealand Cavaliers, was a double Springbok – in rugby and athletics.

 

  • If he appears and scores a try, Bismarck du Plessis will extend his record of nine Test tries for South Africa as a hooker.

 

  • The Referee is Nigel Owens of Wales. This will be his 11th Test involving South Africa. The Springboks have won six and lost four of the previous Tests in which he has officiated. The last time he was in charge of the Boks was in the Test against New Zealand on 5 October, 2013 at Ellis Park in Johannesburg, which the visitors won, 38-27.

 

  • Springbok Test match records at DHL Newlands, Cape Town:

 

o   Most points – 35 (1t, 12c, 2p) by Percy Montgomery on 15 August, 2007 against Namibia.

 

o   Most tries – three by Tom van Vollenhoven against the British Lions on 20 August 1955; by André Snyman against Tonga on 10 June 1997; by Schalk Burger against Namibia on 15 August, 2007 and by Juan Smith, also against Namibia on 15 August, 2007.

 

o   Most conversions – 12 by Percy Montgomery against Namibia 15 August, 2007.

 

o   Most penalty goals –seven by Percy Montgomery against France on 24 June, 2006.

 

o   Most drop goals – two by Naas Botha against the NZ Cavaliers on 10 May, 1986 and by Frans Steyn against Australia on 16 June, 2006.

 

 

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