Fourie du Preez (Gallo Images)
Newcastle - New Springbok captain Fourie du Preez implored
his team to keep building momentum from their victory over Samoa last weekend
when they face Scotland in Newcastle on Saturday.
Du Preez, the SA Rugby Player of the Year in 2006 and 2009,
was named to captain the Springboks at St James’ Park on Saturday in this
crucial Pool B match against a resurgent Scotland side.
The Scots won their first two Rugby World Cup matches by big
margins against Japan and the USA respectively and currently top the pool. The
Springboks are second following their defeat against Japan and comprehensive
victory over Samoa.
“We were really with our backs against the wall last week
and the match against Samoa was probably one of the most pressured games I’ve
ever been involved in,” said Du Preez.
“But every member of the squad stood up and we got a good
win against Samoa. However, that hasn’t changed the position we’re in this week
and I’m expecting the same of every guy, to put in the same performance as we
did last week.”
Du Preez, who made his Test debut against Ireland in
Bloemfontein in 2004, was humbled when he was named to be South Africa’s 56th
Springbok captain on Wednesday.
“I’m not one for many words so I’ll lead from the front on
Saturday,” said Du Preez.
“Luckily we have guys such as Schalk Burger and Duane
Vermeulen to back me up, as well as a lot of experience across the team.
“I’m really grateful for this opportunity. A few months ago
I thought my rugby career was over, and a few weeks ago I didn’t think I was
even going to be here in England today. But life sometimes takes funny turns so
to sit here as captain is unbelievable for me.”
15 Willie le Roux, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12
Damian de Allende, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Fourie du Preez
(captain), 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Schalk Burger, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Lood de
Jager, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Tendai
Substitutes: 16 Adriaan Strauss, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Frans
Malherbe, 19 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 20 Willem Alberts, 21 Ruan Pienaar, 22 Pat
Lambie, 23 Jan Serfontein
15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Tommy Seymour, 13 Richie Vernon, 12 Matt
Scott, 11 Tim Visser, 10 Duncan Weir, 9 Greig Laidlaw (captain), 8 David
Denton, 7 Blair Cowan, 6 Josh Strauss, 5 Jonny Gray, 4 Richie Gray, 3 WP Nel, 2
Fraser Brown, 1 Gordon Reid
Substitutes: 16 Ross Ford, 17 Alasdair Dickinson, 18 Jon
Welsh, 19 Tim Swinson, 20 Ryan Wilson, 21 Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, 22 Peter Horne, 23