Mallett picks Duane as his Bok skipper

2016-05-25 10:01
Nick Mallett (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Former national coach Nick Mallett has selected the Springbok starting XV he feels should run out in the upcoming three-Test series against Ireland.

Speaking on SuperSport’s TMO rugby programme, Mallett named Toulon No 8 Duane Vermeulen as his captain.

Mallett opted for the lock combination of Stormers duo Pieter-Steph du Toit and Eben Etzebeth, while he picked Adriaan Strauss at hooker.

“I’ve gone for Vermeulen because I think he’s going to be around for the next World Cup,” said Mallett.

Lions flank Jaco Kriel also cracks the nod, but otherwise the forward pack boasts familiar names.

“The team’s still got a lot of experience. You’ve got a leader in (Adriaan) Strauss, you’ve got Beast (Mtawarira) who’s got close to a hundred caps; (Frans) Malherbe’s gone on tour, Pieter-Steph and Etzebeth have played.

“That’s a very good pack of forwards. Kriel is a form openside flanker at the moment, Siya Kolisi’s been a Springbok before and had done really well and he’s got the physicality.”

Among the backs, Mallett opted for the halfback combination of Faf de Klerk and Pat Lambie, but said he would have picked Elton Jantjies had it not been for the latter’s untimely finger injury.

“I felt that he (Jantjies) would get the start, and it’s very, very sad that he missed out on this opportunity.

“No 9 is a position I think that we’re lacking in South Africa. We haven’t got lots of people knocking down that door. But I’d like to give Faf a chance because of his pace around the field and his ability at the breakdown, and to clear the ball quickly.”

Mallett opted for Jan Serfontein and Lionel Mapoe in midfield.

“I’ve gone with Serfontein at inside centre because his defence is outstanding and he’s getting the skill that he showed when he was Under-21.

“There’s no question that Lionel Mapoe deserves that No 13 post. He’s been absolutely brilliant.”

The rest of the backline sees Lwazi Mvovo and JP Pietersen on the wings, with Willie le Roux at fullback.

“Although Willie le Roux hasn’t been as dazzling as we’ve expected of him in this (Super Rugby) tournament so far, he’s got tremendous experience and he deserves the start. He’s a creator. He comes in on the blindside as a 10 and creates lots of opportunities.”

Nick Mallett’s Springboks team for Ireland series:

15 Willie le Roux, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Pat Lambie, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Duane Vermeulen (captain), 7 Siya Kolisi, 6 Jaco Kriel, 5 Eben Etzebeth, 4 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Adriaan Strauss, 1 Tendai Mtawarira

Substitutes: 16 Scarra Ntubeni, 17 Julian Redelinghuys, 18 Trevor Nyakane, 19 Lood de Jager, 20 Warren Whiteley, 21 Rudy Paige, 22 Johan Goosen, 23 Damian de Allende

Read more on:    springboks  |  nick mallett  |  duane vermeulen  |  rugby

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