Bok reward for Cheetahs

2014-06-26 11:20
Oupa Mohoje (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - The Cheetahs may be rock bottom in Super Rugby, but at least their fans can smile about the number of representatives they have in the Springbok team.

Bok coach Heyneke Meyer was forced to ring the changes for this Saturday's Test against Scotland after seven of his players were released to their European clubs.

It has opened the door for several promising young players to make their mark in Port Elizabeth on Saturday.

Handré Pollard was one of five uncapped players named in the Springboks’ match-day 23 and the team showed six changes from the side which beat Wales by 31-30 in Nelspruit last weekend.

The four uncapped players on a new-look bench are Marcel van der Merwe (prop), Stephan Lewies (lock), Teboho “Oupa” Mohoje (loose forward) and Marnitz Boshoff (flyhalf).

Also on the bench are Adriaan Strauss, Trevor Nyakane, Francois Hougaard and Zane Kirchner, none of whom have played any Test rugby yet this season.

But it was interesting to note that the Cheetahs - currently South Africa's lowest-ranked franchise in Super Rugby - have the most number of players in the squad.

In all, there are seven Cheetahs players in Saturday's 23-man Springbok squad.

Fullback Willie le Roux, wing Cornal Hendricks, lock Lood de Jager and prop Coenie Oosthuizen all feature in the starting team, while a further three (Strauss, Mohoje and Trevor Nyakane) feature on the bench.

While this stat will no doubt please Cheetahs fans, it must be questioned how a team with so much talent currently sit at the bottom of the overall Super Rugby standings.

Perhaps new coaching structures or personnel would make better use of what is clearly a hotbed of talent in Bloemfontein?

Most representatives per franchise in Saturday's Springbok squad:

Cheetahs (7): Willie le Roux, Cornal Hendricks, Lood de Jager, Coenie Oosthuizen, Adriaan Strauss, Trevor Nyakane, Oupa Mohoje

Sharks (6):
JP Pietersen, Lwazi Mvovo, Marcell Coetzee, Jannie du Plessis, Bismarck du Plessis, Stephan Lewies

Bulls (5):
Jan Serfontein, Handré Pollard, Victor Matfield, Marcel van der Merwe, Francois Hougaard

Stormers (2):
Duane Vermeulen, Schalk Burger

Lions  (1):
Marnitz Boshoff

Suntory Sungoliath, Japan (1):
Fourie du Preez

Leinster, Ireland (1):
Zane Kirchner


South Africa:

15 Willie le Roux, 14 Cornal Hendricks, 13 JP Pietersen, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Handré Pollard, 9 Fourie du Preez, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Schalk Burger, 6 Marcell Coetzee, 5 Victor Matfield (captain), 4 Lood de Jager, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Coenie Oosthuizen

Substitutes: 16 Adriaan Strauss, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Marcel van der Merwe, 19 Stephan Lewies, 20 Oupa Mohoje, 21 Francois Hougaard, 22 Marnitz Boshoff, 23 Zane Kirchner





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