Danie back in Bok team
Bloemfontein - The Springboks have made two changes to their match 22 for their final Tri-Nations Test of the season against Australia at Vodacom Park in Bloemfontein on Saturday.
GALLERY: Springboks in training
There is one change to the starting XV with Danie Rossouw getting the nod ahead of Flip van der Merwe at lock. Van der Merwe moves to the bench.
The second change is among the reserves where Gio Aplon returns in place of the injured Butch James.
Van der Merwe and prop Jannie du Plessis were both cleared to play after undergoing medical assessments on Monday. James, meanwhile, was ruled out through a shoulder injury.
Asked why he had preferred Rossouw to van der Merwe in the Bok engine room, coach Peter de Villiers said: “We feel that Danie will be better suited the to the type of game we would like to play as well as to what we expect the Wallabies may bring to the game on Saturday”.
De Villiers said that his players were determined to do well in Bloemfontein, which has so far been a happy hunting ground for the Boks during his tenure. “There is still the Mandela Cup to play for and whilst we do not play only to win trophies we do see them as just reward for hard work, so hopefully our hard work will pay off and we can celebrate a win at the weekend”.
Vice-captain Victor Matfield said he had been pleased with the improvements in the forward play in last week’s 44-31 win over Australia in Pretoria.
“The lineouts were better but I was really impressed by how well we did at the breakdown,” Matfield said. “I was also very happy with the scrums which were a good launching platform for us. We will continue to see where we can improve this week”.
The Boks were put through their paces in extremely warm conditions at Shimla Park on Tuesday morning. The session included a run against a Free State Under-21 group in which they focused on structured play. Then forwards also put in a good scrumming session.
15 Frans Steyn, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Jaque Fourie, 12 Jean de Villiers, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 Pierre Spies, 7 Juan Smith, 6 Schalk Burger, 5 Victor Matfield, 4 Danie Rossouw, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 John Smit (capt), 1 Gurthrö Steenkamp
Reserves: 16 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 17 CJ van der Linde, 18 Flip van der Merwe, 19 Ryan Kankowski, 20 Ricky Januarie, 21 Juan de Jongh, Gio Aplon
Referee: Wayne Barnes (England)
Assistant referees: Nigel Owens (Wales), Simon McDowell (Ireland)
Television match official: Johann Meuwesen (South Africa)