Div's charges ready for Aussies

2011-08-11 18:01

Durban - Springbok coach Peter de Villiers said his team was ready for Saturday’s Tri-Nations clash against Australia in Durban after making 13 changes to his team.

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De Villiers on Thursday recalled all of his most senior players that were available, in a complete overhaul to the team that ran out against New Zealand in Wellington two weeks ago.

Amongst the most notable inclusions were the return of scrumhalf Fourie du Preez and flanker Heinrich Brüssow for the first time in 21 months, while Butch James was named at flyhalf in another surprise move.

There was also place for John Smit at hooker - the captain being one of two survivors from the 40-7 loss to the All Blacks along with Danie Rossouw - while Frans Steyn was selected at fullback.

"It's great to have Fourie and Heinrich back," said De Villiers.

"Aside from bringing comfort to the guys around them, they are world-class players.

"They bring a kind of element that we've missed in the last year and I'm looking forward to them slotting in as quick as possible.

"They know the responsibility that's on their shoulders, the pressure is mounting on them, but we know they can handle the pressure."

Du Preez missed the 2010 international season because of a shoulder operation and Brüssow was ruled out by a knee ligament injury.

"They were two of the leading players in world rugby when they last played in 2009, and they contributed a lot to Springbok success that season.

"This is the first step back for them, but we're looking to them to have the same impact in due course."

Rossouw (illness) and fellow loose forward Pierre Spies (groin) both came through fitness tests after missing training earlier in the week.

On the bench, three players who played at the Westpac Stadium survived -Jean Deysel, Gerhard Mostert and Morné Steyn.

The team will be the most experienced Springbok side in history with 810 caps, although most of the players have played no rugby over the past five to seven weeks.

"Most of the guys have proved themselves on the world stage already," said De Villiers.

"They might struggle the first 15 to 20 minutes, but then after that I believe their natural talent will kick in again."

He urged the country to forget what had happened during the recent trip to Australasia, where they were also well beaten by the Wallabies.

"What happened in the past wasn't good for our country and wasn't good for us, but we leave that in the past," he said.

"Our focus now is solely on Saturday's game.

"We want to again be the respected team we were two seasons ago and I think that alone is enough motivation in itself."

Meanwhile, skipper Smit will be bidding farewell to his home ground of Kings Park on Saturday when he runs out for his 105th Test in a Springbok jersey.

Du Preez who will win his 56th cap, played down the hype surrounding his return along with that of Brüssow.

"I think the expectations on us is unfair, but we'll go out and do our best and hopefully we can go out and help the team do a little better than last year," said Du Preez.

"But it won't be because we are back, but because everyone wants the team to be on top again."


South Africa:
15 Frans Steyn, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Jaque Fourie, 12 Jean de Villiers, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Butch James, 9 Fourie du Preez, 8 Pierre Spies, 7 Danie Rossouw, 6 Heinrich Brüssow, 5 Victor Matfield, 4 Bakkies Botha, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 John Smit (captain), 1 Beast Mtawarira

Substitutes: 16 Bismarck du Plessis, 17 Gurthro Steenkamp, 18 Gerhard Mostert, 19 Jean Deysel, 20 Francois Hougaard, 21 Morné Steyn, 22 Gio Aplon

15 Kurtley Beale, 14 James O'Connor, 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 12 Pat McCabe, 11 Digby Ioane, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Will Genia, 8 Scott Higginbotham, 7 David Pocock, 6 Rocky Elsom (captain), 5 James Horwill, 4 Nathan Sharpe, 3 Ben Alexander, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 Sekope Kepu.

Substitutes: 16 Saia Faingaa, 17 Salesi Maafu, 18 Sitaleki Timani, 19 Ben McCalman, 20 Radike Samo, 21 Luke Burgess, 22 Anthony Faingaa


  • Rob Rabbit - 2011-08-11 21:29

    I fear - and I will pay to be wrong - that we have an old age home side up against a top under age team, and that experience cannot counter youthful flair, new ideas and a hunger to be the best. Once you have been the best, even if the physicality is still up to it, is the need to deliver still there on what is a farewell stage for many?????

      Drewka - 2011-08-12 05:19

      I doubt that the Ozzies have the makings to be the best. The Boks have a solid foundation while the Wallabies still have to find their combinations. Although they have some brilliant individuals in their team, they don't play as a unit yet, and that would be their downfall. The biggest challenge for the Boks would be to shake off that rust. The boks by 15, but next weekend it’s going to be another ball game.

      Fazel Sindlet - 2011-08-12 12:22

      Rob its true what you saying but what about the saying that goes: "You can only beat experience with experience" ?

  • warren.d.manning - 2011-08-11 21:54

    I would have liked to have seen Chilli boy somewhere on the subs bench.

      GraemeBB - 2011-08-11 23:40

      The price tag Smit comes with.

      Drewka - 2011-08-12 05:24

      Yes Warren, Chilli boy has proved to be a great impact player. Pitty that he's not in the side. Think that he might go to the WC tho.....

  • - 2011-08-12 09:19

    This will be a test between old style rugby and new style rugby.

  • Kaapie - 2011-08-12 09:36

    I have a bad feeling about this one... I hope I'm wrong

      Louw - 2011-08-12 10:04

      Ek het ook daai gevoel. Smit ,Spies. Habanna ???????????????

      Ozman - 2011-08-12 17:20


  • German Boy - 2011-08-12 10:07

    john smit must retire...his done and dusted

  • Fazel Sindlet - 2011-08-12 12:30

    This is the Players I wana see in the Tri-Nations. Peter bring that other new players in One By One, Step By One Step By Step

  • Denzil Marx - 2011-08-12 13:44

    brussow - best fetcher in the world, glad to see him back, when he is on the field SA have most of the posession, look at the last trinations we won, he was a major player.

  • Ozman - 2011-08-12 14:42


  • Staalbal - 2011-08-12 15:29

    Goeie donner, Ou Div is 'n handsome outjie. Mens sien die rugby kennis in daardie oe. Ons is in goeie hande ouens.

  • slg - 2011-08-13 04:51

    Much better, especially Gio Aplan as an impact (he should never start a test and should never play Fullback). Why we mess around with wholesale changes week-in, week-out is a bad mystery. Now hopefully Peter won't misread the game and make silly substitutions that sabotage the team and country.

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