Butch James (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - Former flyhalf Butch James is happy with the Springbok team selected by coach Heyneke Meyer to duel the USA in a Rugby World Cup clash in London on Wednesday.
Meyer opted for continuity when he named his team on Tuesday, making only two changes to the starting team that beat Scotland 34-16 in Newcastle last weekend.
Frans Malherbe comes in at tighthead prop for Jannie du Plessis in the only change to the pack, while at wing Lwazi Mvovo takes over from JP Pietersen, with Bryan Habana moving to right wing.
Schalk Brits, Coenie Oosthuizen, Rudy Paige and Morne Steyn also come in on the bench.
Speaking via a video clip posted to his Twitter page, James - a 2007 World Cup winner - said he was pleased with the selection of the team.
“By the team that Heyneke Meyer has picked, it just shows that the Springboks aren’t taking this game lightly. To me they’ve picked the best possible side available,” said James.
“I think Frans Malherbe coming in for Jannie du Plessis will strengthen our pack, especially in the scrummaging where we have been battling a tiny bit on that tighthead side, so I think Malherbe will add some good value.
“I think JP Pietersen is carrying a bit of a niggle, but Lwazi is a brilliant player and wing, so I don’t think we lose too much there with JP being injured. I’m really happy with our team, I think it’s possibly the strongest team we’ve put out during the competition.”
James is also hoping for the Springbok bench to play a big role in the match.
“I’m looking forward to the game, it’s a big one for the Springboks. It’s really important that we don’t pick up too many injuries. There are a few guys that have played quite a bit so far in the World Cup. So let’s hope we build up a nice early lead so Heyneke is able to bring on that bench...”
Wednesday’s clash at London’s Olympic Stadium is scheduled for 17:45 (SA time).
15 Willie le Roux, 14 Bryan Habana, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 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 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Tendai Mtawarira
Substitutes: 16 Schalk Brits, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Coenie Oosthuizen, 19 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 20 Willem Alberts, 21 Rudy Paige, 22 Morne Steyn, 23 Jan Serfontein.
15 Blaine Scully, 14 Brett Thompson, 13 Folau Niua, 12 Andrew Suniula, 11 Zach Test, 10 Shalom Suniula, 9 Niku Kruger, 8 Samu Manoa (captain), 7 John Quill, 6 Danny Barrett, 5 Matthew Trouville, 4 Louis Stanfill, 3 Chris Baumann, 2 Phil Thiel, 1 Oli Kilifi
Substitutes: 16 Joe Taufetee, 17 Zach Fenoglio, 18 Mate Moeakiola, 19 Titi Lamositele, 20 Cam Dolan, 21 Al McFarland, 22 Mike Petri, 23 Chris Wyles