Boks buy more time
Durban - Injury-plagued world champions South
Africa have postponed until Thursday the announcement of the team to
face Australia in the Tri-Nations this weekend.Click to BUY the SA Rugby Annual 2011
Coach Peter de
Villiers planned to reveal his Springbok side on Tuesday afternoon but
changed his mind because of doubts concerning back-row forwards Pierre
Spies and Danie Rossouw.
Number eight Spies is battling to recover
from a months-old groin injury and Northern Bulls team-mate Rossouw has
been on a drip for several days to combat severe gastroenteritis.
fit, both are set to face the Wallabies on Saturday at Kings Park with
Heinrich Brussow, who has spent much of the past 18 months sidelined by
various injuries, completing the back row.
Ashley Johnson and Ryan
Kankowski, who can play flank or number eight, were called up on Monday as
cover and there has been media speculation here that Willem Alberts
could also be considered despite not being in the 27-strong squad.
Africa, who suffered heavy losses in Australia and New Zealand last
month after 21 mainly first-choice players could not travel because of
injuries, have been particularly hard hit by back-row problems.
Burger and Juan Smith are training with the Springboks but have been
ruled out of the Kings Park showdown and hopes of long-term casualty
Duane Vermeulen being available for World Cup selection are dwindling.
two of the team outclassed 40-7 by the All Blacks in Wellington late
last month - skipper and hooker John Smit and number eight Rossouw - are expected to start against Australia.
A new backline would see
Francois Steyn at fullback, JP Pietersen and Bryan Habana on the wings,
Jaque Fourie and Jean de Villiers in the centre postions, Butch James
playing flyhalf and Fourie du Preez at scrumhalf.
injured De Villiers started in the 15-6 Rugby World Cup final victory
over England in Paris four years ago although Steyn was a centre then
with now retired Percy Montgomery the full-back.
with rookie props Dean Greyling and Werner Kruger in Australasia,
104-cap Smit is likely to have much more experienced support this
weekend in the shape of loosehead Tendai 'Beast' Mtawarira and tighthead
Jannie du Plessis.
The long-serving lock partnership of Bakkies
Botha and Victor Matfield is set to resume active service while, fitness
permitting, Brussow, Rossouw and Spies form the loose trio.
Africa complete their Tri-Nations schedule on August 20 against the New
Zealand All Blacks in Port Elizabeth and launch the defence of the
world title against Wales on September 11 in Wellington.