Boks name most experienced combination to play Australia
October 05, 2011
South Africa on Thursday in New Zealand named the most experienced team in Springbok history for their Rugby World Cup 2011 quarterfinal against Australia in Wellington on Sunday.

Coach Peter de Villiers made three changes to the team that started against Samoa – one of the changes forced by injury – in a combination featuring 836 caps, surpassing the previous record of 815 posted against Wales in the team’s opening match in the tournament.

Captain John Smit and loosehead prop Gurthrö Steenkamp return to the front row, while Jean de Villiers resumes his place in the No 12 jersey in place of Frans Steyn, who suffered a tournament-ending shoulder injury in the 13-5 victory over Samoa.

The XV includes eight players who started in the 2007 Rugby World Cup final as well as three players who were part of the squad. Only Pat Lambie, Morne Steyn and Heinrich Brüssow of the starting team were not involved in 2007, while Pierre Spies was originally selected but had to withdraw due to illness.

Bismarck du Plessis drops to the bench where he is joined by CJ van der Linde, Willem Alberts and Francois Louw, who were all replacement forwards against Samoa.

The versatile Francois Hougaard retains his place among the back replacements where he is joined by flyhalf Butch James and outside back Gio Aplon.

Bakkies Botha was not considered for selection due to the recurrence of an Achilles Heel injury suffered during training on Wednesday.

Sunday’s match kicks off at 18h00 (07h00 SA time).

South Africa v Australia, 9 October 2011, Wellington Regional Stadium

15 Pat Lambie (KwaZulu-Natal) – 10 caps, 3 RWC caps
14 JP Pietersen (KwaZulu-Natal) – 41, 10
13 Jaque Fourie (Western Province) – 68, 14
12 Jean de Villiers (Western Province) – 71, 3
11 Bryan Habana (Western Province) – 73, 10
10 Morné Steyn (Blue Bulls) – 33, 4
9 Fourie du Preez (Blue Bulls) – 61, 10
8 Pierre Spies (Blue Bulls) – 46, 4
7 Schalk Burger (Western Province) – 67, 12
6 Heinrich Brüssow (Free State) – 19, 4
5 Victor Matfield (Blue Bulls) – 109, 13
4 Danie Rossouw (Blue Bulls) – 62, 14
3 Jannie du Plessis (KwaZulu-Natal) – 29, 5
2 John Smit (captain, KwaZulu-Natal) – 110, 16
1 Gurthrö Steenkamp (Blue Bulls) – 37, 6
Replacements
16 Bismarck du Plessis (KwaZulu-Natal) – 41, 8
17 CJ van der Linde (Golden Lions) – 73, 7
18 Willem Alberts (KwaZulu-Natal) – 8, 4
19 Francois Louw (Bath, England) – 9, 2
20 Francois Hougaard (Blue Bulls) – 14, 4
21 Butch James (Golden Lions) – 42, 7
22 Gio Aplon (Western Province) – 16, 1