De Villiers cleared to play

2010-11-05 11:44

Dublin - Centre Jean de Villiers will win his 64 cap for South Africa on Saturday after passing a late fitness test in Dublin on Friday morning.

He takes his place in the centre alongside Zane Kirchner for the first Test of the Springboks’ four-Test tour of Britain and Ireland.

Meanwhile, uncapped backrower Willem Alberts has not recovered sufficiently from a calf strain and is replaced on the bench by his Sharks backrow team-mate and in the similarly uncapped Keegan Daniel. 

Springbok coach Peter de Villiers welcomed the news of his namesake’s recovery: “We have been hard hit by injuries to our centres so to have Jean available is a major boost. He is an experienced international and is in charge of the backs on tour so it’s great to see him back on the field.

“We had made contingency plans, and had trained with them in mind all week, but with Jean’s knowledge of Ireland’s players – having played for Munster – it was important to have him available for this match.”



15 Rob Kearney, 14 Tommy Bowe, 13 Brian O'Driscoll (captain), 12 Gordon D'Arcy, 11 Luke Fitzgerald, 10 Jonathan Sexton, 9 Eoin Reddan, 8 Jamie Heaslip, 7 David Wallace, 6 Stephen Ferris, 5 Mick O'Driscoll, 4 Donncha O'Callaghan, 3 Tony Buckley, 2 Rory Best, 1 Cian Healy

Substitutes: 16 Sean Cronin, 17 Tom Court, 18 Donncha Ryan, 19 Denis Leamy, 20 Peter Stringer, 21 Ronan O'Gara, 22 Keith Earls

South Africa:

15 Gio Aplon, 14 Bjorn Basson, 13 Zane Kirchner, 12 Jean de Villiers, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Morne Steyn, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Pierre Spies, 7 Juan Smith, 6 Deon Stegmann, 5 Victor Matfield (captain), 4 Bakkies Botha, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Beast Mtawarira

Substitutes: 16 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 17 CJ van der Linde, 18 Flip van der Merwe, 19 Keegan Daniel, 20 Francois Hougaard, 21 Adi Jacobs, 22 Pat Lambie

Kick-off: 19:30 SA time

Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)


  • Spyker - 2010-11-05 11:53

    "Jean’s knowledge of Ireland’s players – having played for Munster" LOL, only for a few weeks, mostly as sub.

  • StuartW - 2010-11-05 11:54

    Great they shoud just partner Jean with Pat and not Zane

  • Christie - 2010-11-05 11:56

    Is that a good thing, Jean being cleared?

  • gooi rook - 2010-11-05 12:02

    Why risk Jean, rathter let him rest and recover for the balance of the tour. Lambie should have started with Adi Jacobs as the centre pair. Snorre man....wannne gan djy leer my bru.

  • Tubes - 2010-11-05 12:08

    Has Zane ever played centre, must be poeping himself,watch the holes open up.STRAUS should be there or any of the other centres who played super 14 before Zane.

  • Tana - 2010-11-05 12:12

    I think we might need Mvovo.

  • drol - 2010-11-05 12:14

    zane couldnt tackle a heap of ice cream, putting him in such a crucial position is a very very dumb move, who do you think o'drisscol goingto run straight at not jean as even though he did get the better of jean on one or two occasions he is aware of his ability to stand up to the tackle, kirchner is liable to go into the foetal position and cry.

  • DG - 2010-11-05 12:14

    Kirchner at Centre??? Go figure. Now I am really convinced that de Villiers and crew have absolutely no idea what they are doing

  • Nixon@spyker - 2010-11-05 12:15

    LOL, You do know that Jean was munsters top try scorer last season? something like 9 tries for them in 20 games. He was also with them for 6 months as well. Maybe you should do some research before making stupid statements.

  • Jay - 2010-11-05 12:20

    @Spyker & Christie, is it to hard to just be happy for a South African rugby player who is globally liked and respected. And who has given many years of good service to our country. We are to quick to throw sportman away in SA. Glad you are well Jean, we gonna need your experience if we are to have any chance!!!!!

  • Julz - 2010-11-05 12:22

    I think Jean not playing would be a blessing in disguise! Get rid of Clown de Villiers

  • JAMES - 2010-11-05 12:23

    Zane , useless as a international player now he sits in an important position, which we are going to lose because lack of preparation. 1 week together as combinations???. No AD----rather Devilliers at 13 and Lambie at 12. Morne' inside can steady Lambie.

  • KRUGER - 2010-11-05 12:27

    Leave Lambie alone folks don't try and make him into a utility back the Springbok coaches have for too many years now ruined players careers by playing them out of position. Gaffie Du Toit, Ruan Pienaar, etc. Lambie is a FLY HALF not whaterver the coach fancies!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Pox - 2010-11-05 12:27

    Jean de Villiers is as useless as Schalk Burger, Bryan Habana, Ruan Pienaar, Adi Jacobs, etc. etc.! Lyk my die arme man is gerook of gesuip wanneer hy die span kies.

  • Wally - 2010-11-05 12:29

    If Jean should get hurt tomorrow - then they must fire the whole medical team as well as the coaches!!!

  • @gooi rook - 2010-11-05 12:31

    Are you nuts? Putting Lambie up against one of the most experienced centre pairings in the world is suicide and unfair to the lad. And Adi Jacobs still has to dust himself off because he's seen so little game time. Jean is the logical choice.

  • @Christie - 2010-11-05 12:35

    Definitely, he is familiar with the conidtions there and the players since he used to play there. I do feel for Kirchner, to play for the green and gold is a privilege but being played out of position against a team like Ireland could prove to be a night he would rather forget.

  • Paul - 2010-11-05 12:38

    Zane should not be in the sqaud...and as for Jean he will probably just last a first half then Lambie will come on

  • mike - 2010-11-05 12:38

    Considering the squad this is good news. Still think there better inside centre left at home then JdV, afraid him and Habana have a lot to prove on this tour. Forwards look great would of preferr to see a 5 2 split though with Kanko on the bench instead of Adi. If Juan or Spies get injured our backrow is going to be way too light for the northern conditions. Watched some French rugby last night and boy oh boy do they still kick alot, seriously worried about Aplon at the back, think he is going to be badly exposed!

  • IZ IT - 2010-11-05 12:44


  • Gustav - 2010-11-05 12:45

    Doubt Jean will stay on the park till half time. Why is Adrian Jacobs in the squad if he is not considered default choice at centre when centres are needed? He has played centre at highest level, Kirchner hasn't. So, if Jacobs isn't considered a better centre than Kirchner, why is Jacobs on this tour? Ruan more on form than Francois Hougaard??? Sad to say, but I think our Grand Slam hopes will be lost in the 1st game. PdV has had my benefit of doubt, but this team selection given the Grand Slam is on the cards and we're fast approaching RWC2011 = seems he's lost the plot, lost all confidence, has no real game plan and is clutching at straws. Will take more than a lucky Ricky January bounce of the ball to save him (us!!!) this time!!!

  • Booke100% - 2010-11-05 12:50

    Good luck Zane it wont be easy but you have allways given 100% when playing for the Bulls or the Boks.

  • mike - 2010-11-05 12:54

    One thing the Southern Hemisphere has lost this year is the bruising tight five battles. I'm looking forward to a slower game more centered around the big guys. Going to be a titanic battle, bring it on, new rules and this 7's style rugby is for little boys not men.

  • Biza - 2010-11-05 12:55

    moes nogals Andries Struaas,gekies as sentre en nie manne uit posisie nie.Maar behoort goed te doen.

  • Don - 2010-11-05 12:59

    @Pox, I think youv'e got pox of the brain!! "Jean de Villiers is as useless as Schalk Burger, Bryan Habana etc.." I suppose you want Danie Gerber, Jan Ellis and Ray Mordt in there instead.

  • Werner Beytel - 2010-11-05 13:00

    @mike. 100% spot on with your 5/2 bench call. It is an absolute necessity in NH conditions.

  • Lank chilled - 2010-11-05 13:11

    The guys that want to get rid of Jean de v are crazy.... you guys have to invest in tv's... Did you watch the currie cup? I honestly dont think so. Well to all you critics please inform me of a better No.12 in south africa then if u dont ,please justifiy absurd comments.

  • simplecute - 2010-11-05 13:13

    Great news that our players will be able to compete for us during da tour.Go bokker we behind u all da way.

  • denis - 2010-11-05 13:19

    Would like to see Mvovo either starting in place of Habana or at least on the bench in place of Jacobs. He can tackle and would probably do better at centre then Kirchner. Lambie could be the next Dan Carter if he is looked after carefully - lets hope PdV doesn't turn his debut into a disaster by throwing his young hide to the wolves with Jacobs outside him and Aplon behind him. At least he won't have to field back-foot head-height January passes. Might be interesting to see how a last 20mins 9/10 combo of Hougaard / Lambie goes.

  • Teazer - 2010-11-05 13:20

    I really don't hope so, but I have a feeling we are gonna get creamed!

  • Paulie - 2010-11-05 13:30

    I avidly read remarks and diverse views, from people who know what they're talking about on these blogs. One doesn't have to agree with everything to appreciate a considered opinion. But what gets my goat are these highly personal attacks on players who, as a matter of fact, did not select themselves. Quite often the most strident "attackers" are the ones to offer the least constructive fare. A case in point is @Pox who made derogotary remarks about Jean de Villiers and a side-swipe at Schalk Burger and then of Peter de Villers: "Ek dink die arme man is gesuip as hy die span kies." As a non-fan of Peter de Villers, I still object to this remark. Lambaste Snorre by all means, but retain some decorum and let us keep our remarks on the big game of rugby. I find it worrying playing players out of position. It becomes a killing fields for huge talent. I agree that Lambie should play either flyhalf or at best fullback. There are so many good centres languishing at home. I would love to see Doppies la Grange there - in my book the most underrated centre at Super 14(15?) level. Interestingly, Dawie Theron, coach of Griquas, said in a media interview that Kirchner, many moons ago fleetingly played centre, but his defence was suspect. That is as tactical as you can get. But I still believe we can beat the Irish. I hope Jean de V is at his best.

  • ATTENTION - 2010-11-05 13:53

    Be careful of a personan called Sanjay Deva, he lives in Brisbane (Australia) born in Wellington (NZ) asking for charity for 'South African sports youth', he claims to have been a physio for 'elite' sportsman including the NZ tall blacks, cricket team players etc etc which I've found to be false. He formely scribed for blogsport etc etc. Be wary of this con artist, he claims he's South African yet ye's born in NZ. Be careful, he's duly noted and in no way is or are in any way shape or form in conjunction or connected to South African Rugby Union

  • Box - 2010-11-05 14:07

    @ Paulie, I completely agree! Some of these comments that are thrown around here are just people trying to cause a stir and not add to what could be a fairly constructive argument. I won't say that we are all experts but it is interesting to hear all different points of view. I am seriously glad that Jean D is fit for the weekend and if we have our strongest team available they must play! It's going to be tough up front but I hope the experience of the tight five gives us that momentum that we need and if Morne Steyn is going to kick the ball away he makes sure he kicks it out with the likes of Kearney and Tommy Bowe on the counter!

  • JR - 2010-11-05 14:17

    Don't write off this young team, they have everyting the prove and will prove you wrong. keep this space...

  • Sensoor - 2010-11-05 14:17

    Playing a new combo centre pair to a strong Irish line is stupid. They should have used a crew that has played together as a team like the shark centre pair. He could then also rest the players like J d villiers for next years world cup. It anoys me to hear them talk about resting the players and then finally the perfect time comes along and they do not even use it. Terblance is in excellent form to play a end year tour game allong with his fellow counterpart esppecially when they only have 1 week to trian.

  • WePeeee on the grass of Newlands - 2010-11-05 14:40

    On 20 July 2009, it was announced that de Villiers will leave Western Province and join Munster from mid-September 2009 on a one-year contract, with an option to renew for another two years. De Villiers was nicknamed "Harvey Norman" by the Munster supporters as a play on the furniture superstores policy of a "one year contract with no interest". It was announced on the February 15th 2010 that he would leave Munster and return to South Africa at the end of the season.

  • Vic J - 2010-11-05 15:11

    You dont have to be a rocket scientist to see PdV knows zippo about player selection. I'm sure many of us can select a better and balanced team. Sure coaching is another story but play players that have played in some of those positions.

  • dis die rooi - 2010-11-05 15:54

    Ek sal eerder vir pierre spies op senter speel as zane

  • Tagicakibau - 2010-11-05 17:49

    I can not believe PDVs team selection for this all important first game of a grand slam tour!!! Zane Kirchner at centre - out of position and not even worthy of a place in this gelapte span! Ruan Pienaar ahead of francois hougaard after his good form in home leg of tri-nations - ironically pienaar will get a chance to play in the position he did not get a chance in which is why he left for europe in the first place! Ireland's forwards will drive us into the ground the first 50 min and then score 15-25 points in the last quarter. An absolute disgrace to the name of the springbok and what it represents, SA rugby supporting public, the players in form and even those being chosen out of position! This team will find it difficuilt to beat Scotland on a rainy saturday afternoon at murrayfield! Anyway, if this is how PDV tends to win the grand slam and hold on to his job (one that should never have been his to start with) than I'm glad cause he won't and he will be sacked before Xmas! Shame on you all! Cometh the day, cometh the hour...... Go Ireland!

  • Eish! - 2010-11-05 19:10

    Die span is gekies - kom ons ondersteun hulle (hulle het hulle nie self gekies nie). Hoop net Jean is ok. Ek weet ook nie wat maak AD daar nie. Het maar 'n paar minute hierdie jaar gespeel. Sy eie provinsie verkies die bejaarde Stephan bo hom op 13. Die probleem was net 2 senters is vir die toer gekies en toe die beserings kom, kies hulle 'n heelagter en vleuel. Daar is baie ouens wat goed gespeel het (beseerdes uitgesluit) in die CC ek dink aan Strauss, Doppies, Watermeyer, Jaco Pretorius, Geel, Meyer Bosman - hulle kon twee van hulle gekies het in plaas van AD. Al was dit net vir backup to Jean 100% is. Ek worry oor Zane op senter - maar gee hom 'n kans. Ons moet nie die jong outjies vir die wolwe gooi nie. Hulle moet hoogstens opkom as die game in die sakkie is - sorry Pat but your time will come - but not now.

  • RCH - 2010-11-05 19:16

    ZANE KIRCHNER at center. WTF!!!!! PdV Has no F*&^%%^G clue.

  • SAJoe - 2010-11-06 21:34

    The usual sabotage of SA sport by affirmative action. SA have a 14 point lead over Ireland. Our genius coach immediately makes the changes instead of leaving it another 5 minutes to make it difficult for Ireland to come back. Who does he take off but the teams main kicker Morne Steyn and does his best to mess up Lambie's career from day 1 by putting him on to take over the kicking in his very first test in the wet. You can only think de Villiers is either a cretin or deliberately trying to sabotage a young player. Who has to get left on but non-international Zane Kirschner who has messed but time and again in international matches and proceeds to continue his 100% messup record by conceding a turn over in a promising attacking position and then later hands Ireland a try. The coach proceeds to nearly hand Ireland the game by taking off de Villiers having a Springbok backline of Pienaar Lambie Jacobs and Lambie. You would want to operate with back line like that for 5 minutes against Tonga let alone a fired up Irish team. To take the situation to the point of puking, we have to listen to our blazered and tied mealiemouthed comment team on Supersport going on how well the Boks played. Yes about 10 of them, the pack Pienaar and Aplon. Poor Habana doesn't even get a look in. Why not put him back to centre in these situations. He'd do better than Kirschner in that position in his sleep.

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