Tuesday, August 09, 2022

Boks name six uncapped players for second Wales Test

Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber named two uncapped players in his starting lineup and a further four among the replacements as he reshuffled his squad to build depth for their second Test against Wales in the Castle Lager Incoming Series at the Toyota Stadium in Bloemfontein on Saturday.

Two players who have been in hot form recently, Kurt-Lee Arendse (outside back) and Evan Roos (No 8), have been handed starts, while Ntuthuko Mchunu (prop), Ruan Nortje (lock), Deon Fourie (utility forward) and Grant Williams (scrumhalf) could make their debuts off the bench.

Four players in the match-23 retained their places in the squad from last week’s 32-29 victory in the opening Test against Wales, namely experienced lock Eben Etzebeth, who will earns his 99th cap for South Africa on Saturday, while hooker Malcolm Marx, prop Vincent Koch and utility back Damian Willemse have been included on the bench.

Furthermore, experienced flyhalf Handre Pollard, who returns to the squad after not featuring in the first Test, will take over the captaincy from Siya Kolisi this week.

Nienaber stressed that while building winning momentum was vital as the international season picks up steam, one of the key facets for the team was building depth, especially with an eye on next year’s Rugby World Cup.

“We said from the outset that we needed to strike a balance between giving our talented young players an opportunity to show what they can do at international level, and winning,” said Nienaber.

“If one looks at the balance between players who have played at this level and those who have performed consistently well for their franchises and clubs, I think we have a nice balance in this squad.

“A number of these players have been with us for a few seasons, while others travelled with us last season to Australia for the Castle Lager Rugby Championship and the year-end tour, and then there are a few new faces who showed during the season that they have the potential to rise to this level of the game, so we are excited to see what they can do on Saturday.

“Wales showed last week that they are fighters and can go for the full 80 minutes and we are expecting nothing different from them this week. This will certainly be a good test for the younger players in the group to measure themselves against some of the best players in Wales, some of whom played for the British & Irish Lions, so everyone knows they will be in for a proper Test on Saturday.”

Nienaber again opted for a split of six forwards and two backs on the bench, with Willemse’s versatility seeing him able to cover flyhalf, centre and fullback, while Williams, who has been waiting in the wings at scrumhalf, provides cover at for his provincial team-mate Jaden Hendrikse.

“We are delighted to see these players get an opportunity at this level and I believe if they play to their potential, they will bolster our depth going forward,” said Nienaber.

“They are all very excited at the prospect of wearing the green and gold, but they also know what Wales will bring on the day and that every opportunity will be important.”

On Pollard handing the captaincy, the Bok coach said: “Handre is one of our most experienced players and has been part of our core leadership group for a number of years now, I’m sure he will slot into the role with ease.”

Looking ahead at the match, Nienaber said: “Wales will certainly gain confidence from their performance last week, and I have no doubt they will feel aggrieved by the fact that they lost out so narrowly, so we know we have to produce a top-class performance to win this weekend.

“The set pieces are going to be a key area once again, and we have identified the areas that we need to improve on and have already started working on those facets of the game.

“They are a team that keep going until the final whistle, so we expect them to push us to the limit, but we know what our standards are a team, and every player knows what is expected of him.

“It is definitely going to take a full 80-minute effort to win the match, and if we do well, hopefully the results will take of itself.”

Springbok team to face Wales in Bloemfontein:
15 – Warrick Gelant (Racing 92) 9 caps, 15 pts (3t)
14 – Kurt-Lee Arendse (Vodacom Bulls) – uncapped
13 – Jesse Kriel (Canon Eagles) – 51 caps, 60 pts (12t)
12 – Andre Esterhuizen (Harlequins) 8 caps, 0 pts
11 – Aphelele Fassi (Cell C Sharks) 2 caps, 10 pts (2t)
10 – Handre Pollard (captain – Leicester) 60 caps, 601 pts (6t, 83c, 131p, 4d)
9 – Jaden Hendrikse (Cell C Sharks) 2 caps, 5 pts (1t)
8 – Evan Roos (DHL Stormers) – uncapped
7 – Pieter-Steph du Toit (Toyota Verblitz) 58 caps, 25 pts (5t)
6 – Marcell Coetzee (Vodacom Bulls) 30 caps, 30 pts (6t)
5 – Marvin Orie (DHL Stormers) – 7 caps, 0 pts
4 – Eben Etzebeth (Cell C Sharks) 98 caps, 15 pts (3t)
3 – Trevor Nyakane (Racing 92) 54 caps, 5pts (1t)
2 – Joseph Dweba (DHL Stormers) 1 cap, 0 pts
1 – Thomas du Toit (Cell C Sharks) 13 caps, 0 pts
Replacements:
16 – Malcolm Marx (Kubota Spears) 47 caps, 55 pts (11t)
17 – Ntuthuko Mchunu (Cell C Sharks) – uncapped
18 – Vincent Koch (Wasps) 32 caps, 0 pts
19 – Ruan Nortje (Vodacom Bulls) – uncapped
20 – Rynhardt Elstadt (Toulouse) – 3 caps, 0 pts
21 – Deon Fourie (DHL Stormers – uncapped)
22 – Grant Williams (Cell C Sharks) – uncapped
23 – Damian Willemse (DHL Stormers) 17 caps, 12 pts (1T, 2C, 1P)

Springbok record against Wales:
Played 38, Won 31, Lost 6, Drawn 1, Points for 977, Points against 615, Tries scored 115, Tries conceded 51, Highest score 96, Biggest win 83 Points, Win % 81.

Miscellaneous:
• The total Test caps for the Springbok starting line-up is 393.
• There are 132 caps in the backline with 261 caps amongst the forwards. On the bench there are a further 99 caps.
• The average caps per player in the backline are 14, the forwards 32, while the players on the bench average 12.



[Submitted by Kevin Rademeyer]

About the Author

Kevin Rademeyer
     

Navigation

LEADERS LEGENDS & LEGACY - DOUG WILLIAMS SB MVP and DONNIE LITTLE UNIV of TX QB

Grambling State University's former quarterback and Super bowl XXII's MVP, Doug Williams and the University of Texas' first African American quarterback (1977) Donnie Little discusses the intricacies of being role-models that just happens to be athletes and "Black" quarterbacks during a period of our American history that thrusted the two of them into two very different but similar situations.

Read more..

Five star performance by Proteas

Tabraiz Shamsi headed an incredible bowling performance by the Proteas by bagging a career-best five-for as they claimed a crushing 90-run victory over England in the third T20 International at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton on Sunday.

Read more..

ABSA RUN YOUR CITY JOZI

The Absa RUN YOUR CITY Series returns to Jozi in September and in celebration event organizer, Stillwater Sports, is excited to launch the Absa RUN YOUR CITY JOBURG 10K Ambassador Search Campaign.

Read more..

     The US Press Association Press Pass & Credentials - The Standard For New Media Freelancers And Professionals