Double Tri-Nations boost for Springboks

South Africa have received a major lift for Saturday’s Tri-Nations opener against New Zealand with forwards Bakkies Botha and Danie Rossouw declared fit and named in their match-day squad.

Botha missed training earlier this week with a hamstring injury but his return, and Rossouw’s inculsion on the bench after he recovered from a hip injury, gives the world champions a significant psychological boost.

“All of the players in the group are fit and available so there were some tough choices to make,” Springboks coach Peter de Villiers said on Thursday ahead of the Eden Park clash. “We are putting a very strong team out there.”

De Villiers, whose side beat the All Blacks three times during last year’s Tri-Nations, said the results were immaterial.

“If you look backwards you will go backwards. Last year’s results are in the past. It will be tough but we expect it to be as it always is against the All Blacks.”


Braced for backlash
South Africa captain John Smit said the Springboks were braced for an All Blacks backlash.

“The All Blacks are going to be as competitive as they were last year, if not more so because of the fact that they didn’t win it,” he said.

“They are the team that has won the Tri-Nations the most out of all three of us. Not winning it really irritates them.”

South Africa will look to force the issue in Saturday’s opening game by using their superior lineout, said vice-captain Victor Matfield, who will join Botha in the second row.

“It is always an area that we will target against any opponent but we will be looking to contest and get a few steals early on to maybe sow a bit of doubt in their minds,” Matfield said.

“The lineout is one of our strengths but we have to be good in all departments against the All Blacks because they are a great team.

“You don’t just pitch up here and expect a win. You have to work for it.”

Meanwhile, the South African Rugby Union has confirmed that the August 21 Tr-Nations match against the All Blacks will be played at Soccer City.

South Africa squad:
Zane Kirchner, Jean de Villiers, Jaque Fourie, Wynand Olivier, Bryan Habana, Morne Steyn, Ricky Januarie; Pierre Spies, Francois Louw, Schalk Burger, Victor Matfield, Bakkies Botha, Jannie du Plessis, John Smit, Gurthro Steenkamp. Chiliboy Ralepelle, BJ Botha, Andries Bekker, Danie Rossouw, Ruan Pienaar, Butch James, Gio Aplon. — Reuters

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Related stories

Unpacking the myths and misunderstandings in the Covid-19 vacuum

The basics of epidemiology will help explain why some of the believable but incorrect propositions about the pandemic are wrong.

On language, power and privilege in tertiary education

Advocates of retaining Afrikaans as a language of instruction are blind to their own prejudices

Invest in children to give them a better world

This entails putting them at the centre of national strategies, but doing it without high CO2 releases

Covid-19: Free the evidence

Governments need to provide the modelling and data informing the strategy to control the spread of the novel coronavirus

Lockdown or no lockdown: we face hard choices for complex times

There are no available options for containing the spread of Covid-19 that do not have serious economic costs. We need to listen to expertise, not ill-considered opinion

Eusebius McKaiser: Why Ramaphosa must act decisively against Ndabeni-Abrahams

The president needs South Africans on his side if the lockdown is to be extended. He must show leadership and censure the communications minister for breaking the regulations
Advertising

Subscribers only

Q&A Sessions: Frank Chikane on the rainbow where colours never...

Reverend Frank Chikane has just completed six years as the chairperson of the Kagiso Trust. He speaks about corruption, his children’s views and how churches can be mobilised

ANC: ‘We’re operating under conditions of anarchy’

In its latest policy documents, the ANC is self-critical and wants ‘consequence management’, yet it’s letting its members off the hook again

More top stories

Shabnim Ismail bowls her way into the record books Down...

The night before Australia’s Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) final, fiery South African fast bowler Shabnim Ismail lay awake pondering how...

Hawks make arrest in matric maths paper leak

Themba Daniel Shikwambana, who works at a printing company, was granted bail and is due to return to court in January

Andile Lungisa: Early parole for the house of truth

Disgraced Nelson Mandela Bay councillor Andile Lungisa calls for a change of leadership in the ANC immediately after being released on parole

War of words at Zondo commission: ‘Grow up Mr Gordhan,...

The cross-examination of the public enterprises minister by Tom Moyane’s lawyers at the state capture inquiry went on well into overtime on Monday evening
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…