Lambie at 10 for Boks

 Nov 07,2012
Written by: Editor

Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer has named Pat Lambie to start at fly-half when the team faces Ireland at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin on Saturday.

The 22-year-old's inclusion at pivot in the place of the injured Johan Goosen is one of only three changes to the team that started in the Springboks' last Test, against New Zealand in Soweto. The other two are also forced by injury.

JP Pietersen returns at right wing while Juandré Kruger takes over at lock, respectively for Bryan Habana and Andries Bekker, who were both ruled out of the tour because of injury.

"I'm excited to see what Pat can bring to the team," said Springbok coach Meyer.

"He played very well in the last few weeks of the Absa Currie Cup and hopefully he can bring that momentum with him on Saturday.

"It's also good to have JP back. He's had a great season and will want to finish the season on a high. At lock, there has been strong competition for the No 5 jersey all season and now Juandré gets an opportunity again."

For the first time, the Springboks have named an eight-man replacement bench, in line with the new laws that determine a full front-row of two specialist props and a hooker have to be selected.

Returning to Springbok duty for the first time since 2008 is Schalk Brits, who will start on the bench next to CJ van der Linde and Pat Cilliers. Should Brits make an appearance, it will be his first Test for South Africa since 2008 while Van der Linde has not appeared for the team since the 2011 World Cup.

"Schalk is an explosive player who can bring something special off the bench," said Meyer. "CJ is very experienced and knows the conditions here quite well, as he played for Leinster for two seasons."

Meyer said the match would be a major Test in trying conditions for his young team. A temperature of around five degrees is forecast for Saturday afternoon, while winds and a 25 per cent chance of showers are also predicted.

"I've said from the outset that I'd like to see which of the players can handle the Northern Hemisphere conditions on this tour, as it will be the same for the Rugby World Cup in 2015," said Meyer.

"We'll be facing an Ireland team that is never an easy opponent in Dublin. The Springboks have only won one of their last four Tests here and since they lost at Aviva Stadium against South Africa in November 2010, they have recorded a number of good victories at their home ground.

"They will also be desperate to get back to winning ways after winning two of their eight Tests this season, which, to my mind, is not a true reflection of how good the Irish really are. But we're in a similar situation and would like to start this tour on a positive note."

Furthermore, Meyer confirmed today that Leinster prop Heinke van der Merwe has been called up to the Springbok squad for the duration of the tour. He played in his only Test for South Africa against Wales in November 2007, and he toured with the Springboks at the end of the 2009 season.

Gurthrö Steenkamp, who joined the squad on Tuesday evening, is struggling with a light niggle. Van der Merwe's call-up provides extra cover at loosehead prop.

"Heinke has played for South Africa before and is based in Dublin, making it easy for him to join the squad. I've been following his career and he has been playing well for Leinster, who are the Heineken Cup champions," added Meyer.

South Africa: 15 Zane Kirchner, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Jaco Taute, 12 Jean de Villiers (captain), 11 Francois Hougaard, 10 Pat Lambie, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Willem Alberts, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Juandré Kruger, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Adriaan Strauss, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Replacements: 16 Schalk Brits, 17 CJ van der Linde, 18 Pat Cilliers, 19 Flip van der Merwe, 20 Marcell Coetzee, 21 Morné Steyn, 22 Juan de Jongh, 23 Lwazi Mvovo.

Date: Saturday, November 10
Kick-off: 17:30 GMT
Venue: Aviva Stadium, Dublin
Referee: Wayne Barnes (England)
Assistant referees: Steve Walsh (Australia), Luke Pierce (England)
Television match official: Giulio De Santis (Italy)






Tags: Springboks |  South Africa | 

From The Sideline