Rugby

Bakkies, Spies start against Japan

2015-08-13 12:00
Bakkies Botha (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - The World 15 have named five Rugby World Cup winners in their starting line-up, alongside several more pushing hard for inclusion in this year’s tournament.

Andrew Ellis, Andrew Hore, Ali Williams and Adam Thomson lifted the Webb Ellis Trophy for New Zealand in 2011, while captain Bakkies Botha was victorious with South Africa in 2007.

No 8 Pierre Spies is the other former Springbok to feature in the side to tackle Japan at the Prince Chichibu Memorial Rugby Ground in Tokyo on Saturday.

The above-mentioned players are joined by an Australian contingent who will be out to impress coach Michael Cheika as he finalises his squad ahead of next month’s global contest in England.

The likes of James O’Connor, Christian Lealiifano, Nick Cummins, Sean McMahon and uncapped wing Taqele Naiyaravoro are all involved against a Japan team ranked No 15 in the world under the guidance of Eddie Jones.

World 15 coach Robbie Deans wants the veterans to finish their careers on a high while enhancing the chances of their team-mates to compete on rugby's biggest stage.

“We’ve got a limited amount of time to prepare against a side who have been together for a long time but these are high quality players who have an opportunity to enhance their reputations,” said Deans, who coaches Japanese Top League side Panasonic Wild Knights.

“There are players who have won World Cups at the end of their careers and players pushing for places in very competitive national squads with the clock ticking. For both groups there is something at stake.

“Japan have a settled side and will bring a lot of energy to the match before they head to the World Cup. It should be a great game and we want to give them a really thorough test.”

Botha led the World 15 against South Africa last month and with 85 international appearances is the most experienced Test player in a starting line-up boasting 617 caps.

World 15 team:

15 James O’Connor (Reds & Australia), 14 Taqele Naiyaravoro (Glasgow Warriors), 13 Ben Tapuai (Force & Australia), 12 Christian Lealiifano (Brumbies & Australia), 11 Nick Cummins (Western Force & Australia), 10 Berrick Barnes (Panasonic Wild Knights & Australia), 9 Andy Ellis (Kobelco Steelers & New Zealand), 8 Pierre Spies (Kintetsu Liners, Montpellier & South Africa), 7 Liam Gill (Reds & Australia), 6 Adam Thomson (Reds & New Zealand), 5 Ali Williams (Unattached & New Zealand), 4 Bakkies Botha (Unattached & South Africa, captain), 3 Carl Hayman (Unattached & New Zealand), 2 Andrew Hore (Unattached & New Zealand), 1 Benn Robinson (Waratahs & Australia)

Substitutes: 16 Tolu Latu (Waratahs), 17 Ben Alexander (Brumbies & Australia), 18 Petrus du Plessis (Saracens), 19 Luke Jones (Rebels & Australia), 20 Sean McMahon (Rebels & Australia), 21 Luke Burgess (Zebre & Australia), 22 Mike Harris (Rebels & Australia), 23 Dom Shipperley (Rebels & Australia)

Read more on:    world xv  |  japan  |  pierre spies  |  bakkies botha  |  rugby
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