NEWS ARTICLES
Three changes to Springbok pack to face Samoa
June 19, 2013
Springbok captain Jean de Villiers will be given until Friday to prove that he has fully recovered from a sternum injury, which has kept him off the training field thus far this week.

The Springboks face Samoa in the final match of the Castle Lager Incoming Series at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria on Saturday. The team shows three changes – all of them in the pack – from the side which beat Scotland by 30-17 in Nelspruit last weekend.

The backline is unchanged from last weekend, apart from the doubt over De Villiers’ fitness.

If De Villiers can’t play, Jan Serfontein will start at inside centre, with Juan de Jongh coming onto the bench. Adriaan Strauss will then lead the Springboks to become South Africa’s 55th Test captain and Bryan Habana will take over the vice-captaincy.

“Jean is an integral member of our squad and we will give him all the time he needs to get back to full fitness,” said Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer.

“Luckily we have a strong group of leaders in the squad and if Jean doesn’t make it, Adriaan will take over the captaincy, with support provided by Francois Louw, Pierre Spies, Bryan Habana and Bismarck du Plessis.”

Upfront, the injured Arno Botha is replaced at flank by Willem Alberts, who has been struggling with a side strain.

Alberts, who has been training with the team this week, will have to pass a fitness test on Friday to prove that he has recovered fully from his injury. If he is not passed fit to play Samoa, Siya Kolisi will start in his place and Marcell Coetzee will be included on the bench.

Francois Louw returns on the other flank after missing last weekend’s match because of his wedding. The third and final change to the starting line-up is at lock, where Flip van der Merwe comes in for Juandré Kruger.

“Francois was always going to be back this week and Willem has been our first-choice ball carrier, so it’s been good to have them back on the training field,” said Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer.

“Because Willem is returning from an injury, we decided to start with him. Siya played very well last weekend and it is great to have someone of his versatility on the bench. We saw last week how valuable it is to have replacement players who can make a real impact late in the match.

“I’m happy that we’ve been able to keep some form of continuity during these Tests, especially in the backline, where a number of exciting new players have come in and put up their hands during Vodacom Super Rugby and in the last two weeks.”

Meyer said the match against Samoa will be a proper test for his squad.

“They have a strong squad and have benefited from having their best players compete in Vodacom Super Rugby and at the top club level in Europe, but our focus is on putting in an improved performance from last week,” said Meyer.

The Springbok team to face Samoa in Pretoria is:

15 Willie le Roux (GWK Griquas), 2 caps
14 Bryan Habana (DHL Western Province), 85
13 JJ Engelbrecht (Vodacom Blue Bulls), 3
12 Jean de Villiers (captain, DHL Western Province), 86 / Jan Serfontein (Vodacom Blue Bulls), 2
11 Bjorn Basson (Vodacom Blue Bulls), 8
10 Morné Steyn (Vodacom Blue Bulls), 44
9 Ruan Pienaar (Ulster, N-Ireland), 65
8 Pierre Spies (Vodacom Blue Bulls), 52
7 Willem Alberts (The Sharks), 20 / Siya Kolisi (DHL Western Province), 1
6 Francois Louw (Bath, England), 18
5 Flip van der Merwe (Vodacom Blue Bulls), 25
4 Eben Etzebeth (DHL Western Province), 13
3 Jannie du Plessis (The Sharks), 44
2 Adriaan Strauss (Toyota FS Cheetahs), 23
1 Tendai Mtawarira (The Sharks), 43
Replacements:
16 Bismarck du Plessis (The Sharks), 47
17 Trevor Nyakane (Toyota FS Cheetahs), 2
18 Coenie Oosthuizen (Toyota FS Cheetahs), 3
19 Juandré Kruger (Vodacom Blue Bulls), 10
20 Siya Kolisi (DHL Western Province), 1 / Marcell Coetzee (The Sharks), 14
21 Piet van Zyl (Toyota FS Cheetahs), 1
22 Pat Lambie (The Sharks), 22
23 Jan Serfontein (Vodacom Blue Bulls), 2 / Juan de Jongh (DHL Western Province), 14

MATCH CENTRE
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SA Schools 2015
Friday, August 07 2015
12:00 - South Africa U18 A vs Italy U18
City Park Stadium, Cape Town
14:00 - England U18 vs France U18
City Park Stadium, Cape Town
Absa Currie Cup Premier Division
15:30 - ORC Griquas vs DHL Western Province
Griqua Park, Kimberley
SA Schools 2015
16:00 - South Africa U18 vs Wales U18
City Park Stadium, Cape Town
Absa Currie Cup Premier Division
18:00 - Steval Pumas vs Cell C Sharks
Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit
Absa Under 19 Competition
Saturday, August 08 2015
09:30 - Eastern Province U19 vs Golden Lions U19
Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, PE
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Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein
Absa Under 21 Competition
11:30 - EP Kings U21 vs Golden Lions U21
Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, PE
The Castle Lager Rugby Championship
12:05 - Australia vs New Zealand
ANZ Stadium, Sydney
Absa Under 21 Competition
12:05 - Free State U21 vs Blue Bulls U21
Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein

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