Meyer makes one change to Boks starting line-up
Springboks coach, Heyneke Meyer, has named his team who will be facing Wales in their Rugby World Cup quarter-final at Twickenham in London on Saturday afternoon.
Meyer has only made one change to the team who beat the United States 64-0 in the Boks’ final Pool B match last week.
Wing, JP Pietersen, who could not participate in the game last week due to a knee injury, will be wearing No 14 jersey, and Bryan Habana moving back to the left wing.
“JP and Bryan have been in superb form and are playing some of the best rugby of their lives,” Meyer said.
“They have been scoring some wonderful tries, as has Lwazi Mvovo, so it’s really great to know that there is good competition among the wings.
“It made sense to reunite Bryan and JP on the wing as it brings a lot of experience to our backline, which has been doing well despite the relative inexperience of Handré Pollard, Damian De Allende and Jesse Kriel,” Meyer added.
Adriaan Strauss, Jannie du Plessis, Ruan Pienaar and Pat Lambie will also all be returning to the bench for the Wales match.
“We’ve seen first-hand how important it is to have experienced players on the field at the end of a match and to have this kind of experience available on the bench in a knock-out match is great,” Meyer said.
“Saturday’s match will be huge and we are expecting an arm wrestle right until the end. We’re playing against a well-balanced side that always likes to mix things up when it comes to physicality.
“They have a good set-piece and some strong ball carriers upfront and in the back – it’s what you expect to face at this stage of the competition and we’re very excited about the challenge.”
Lock Victor Matfield has not been considered for the starting line-up, as he felt some strain in his hamstring during training on Tuesday afternoon.
“We were planning to use Victor from the bench to add even more experience to our replacements, but we’re also not prepared to risk him if he’s not ready. Luckily in Pieter-Steph du Toit we have another young player who has been performing very well and will slot in with ease,” Meyer said.
15 Willie le Roux, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Fourie du Preez (captain), 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Schalk Burger, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Tendai Mtawarira
16 Adriaan Strauss, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Jannie du Plessis, 19 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 20 Willem Alberts, 21 Ruan Pienaar, 22 Pat Lambie, 23 Jan Serfontein.
IMAGE courtesy of www.rugbyworldcup.com
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