Cape Town - South Africa 'A' coach, Johan Ackermann said his changes in the starting line-up to face French Barbarians at Orlando Stadium on Friday evening, were informed by his commitment to give everyone a chance to play.
Ackermann, in his formal squad announcement at Orlando Stadium on Wednesday afternoon, said it is only fair that everyone gets a bit of run, as per his promise to the players in his camp.
“My commitment to the players from last week was that every guy will play either a full match. Last week, Seabelo (Senatla), Warrick Gelant and Chris Cloete missed out totally. They didn’t even sit on the bench and obviously the guys who sat on the bench want a fair game time as well. That is why the whole bench of last week is starting. I had to make changes with other guys who didn’t get the time to play. And as you’ve heard, Lionel (Mapoe) now drops down from the Springboks,” said Ackermann.
Ackermann made 13 alterations in his personnel from last week’s clash in Durban, and he believes that the changes, is not only a way for him to keep his promise, but will also breathe some life into their approach to the game. “With changes, you bring excitement. It’s still a quality team and these are the players that are looking to run out in the starting 15,” he said.
Ackermann’s men will be playing for the first time in Soweto’s Orlando Stadium and he said they are excited to be playing away from their home union.
“By heart, I know players are looking forward to bring rugby out here, because normally, there is a great vibe and tradition of support. The whole build-up will actually start tomorrow (Thursday), when we have our first practise at the stadium and for those players who haven’t experienced it, they will see what quality stadium it is,” said Ackermann.
The match at 20:00 will be preceded by a Suprtsport Rugby Challenge game between Vodacom Blue Bulls and Xerox Golden Lions at 17:00.
South Africa 'A'
15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Lwazi Mvovo, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Francois Venter (captain), 11 Seabelo Senatla, 10 Fred Zeilinga, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage, 8 Andisa Ntsila, 7 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 6 Chris Cloete, 5 Ruan Botha, 4 Jason Jenkins, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Ramone Samuels, 1 Ox Nche
Subsitutes: Franco Marais,Thomas du Toit, Wilco Louw, Uzair Cassiem, Ruan Ackermann, Jano Vermaak, Handre Pollard, Juan de Jongh