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South Africa Name Team to Play Ireland

South Africa Name Team to Play Ireland

South African Coach Jake White has made just one change in the starting line up of his Springboks side that beat Wales 36 – 38 last Saturday

South African Coach Jake White has made just one change in the starting line up of his Springboks side that beat Wales 36 – 38 last Saturday. Natal Sharks player AJ Venter comes into the back row at blind side in place of Juan Smith.

There were injury concerns for out half Jaco van der Westhuyzen, who needed six stitches in a finger wound and was rated doubtful, but he passed a fitness test to take his place in the team.

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On the bench, Danie Rossouw comes in for Tim Dlulane and Gaffie du Toit or Jaque Fourie will take the place of Brent Russell, with the South African Management making a decision on du Toit or Fourie later in the week.

In the Springboks team, the name on everybody’s lips is of course Schalk Burger, but one of the real stars was his back row colleague Joe Van Niekirk. As well as finishing off a try, his ability to make the gain line of the back of the scrum was a real eye opener.

The second rows, Botha and Matfield, are two opposites that combine to make an excellent partnership. Botha is the typical bruising South African forward – Strong, tough and very big. For his size he is surprisingly quick on his feet, but is a real ‘at the coal face’ sort of forward.

The majority of the lineout work for South Africa is placed on the shoulders of Matfield. The Blue Bulls second row is athletic and a superb operator out of touch, but also has a real turn of pace and a set of hands to match.

The front row for South Africa needs little introduction, with the massive Os Du Randt showing his worth to the team when he came back early last season. If Du Randt is the beef, the tight head Eddie Andrews is more of the technician at scrum time. Captain and hooker John Smit is also a big man but an extremely skillful and fast player around the park. Following the last scrum of the game against Wales when he was popped so high he could probably see his house back in South Africa, he will not be relishing a return to prop at any stage this Saturday.

In the backs, the threat from Percy Montgomery at full back is probably most recognisable. The Dragons full back scored 23 points against Wales and was a constant threat in attack. His booming left boot put Wales back into their own half on several occasions and despite one missed tackle when Daffyd Jones went through to set up a try for Henson, he was Mr. Dependable.

The three quarters also stand out, with the hard tackling De Wet Barry acting as a good foil for the lightning quick Joubert. The wingers Paulse (who wins his 50th cap at the weekend) and Willemse also pose a big threat, although Willemse was quiet against Wales and was replaced by the try scoring De Villiers.

South African Team

15 Percy Montgomery
14 Breyton Paulse
13 Marius Joubert
12 De Wet Barry
11 Ashwin Willemse
10 Jaco van der Westhuyzen
9 Fourie Du Preez
1 Os Du Randt
2 John Smit (capt)
3 Eddie Andrews
4 Bakkies Botha
5 Victor Matfield
6 Schalk Burger
7 A J Venter
8 Joe van Niekerk


16 Hanyani Shimange
17 CJ van der Linde
18 Gerrie Britz
19 Danie Rossouw
20 Michael Claassens
21 Jean de Villiers
22 Gaffie du Toit/Jaque Fourie