Boks squad announced
Heyneke Meyer seems to have picked himself a dream Springbok team to play against Ireland on Saturday.
JOHANNESBURG - Joel Stransky said on Thursday Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer picked a decent side for their clash against Ireland at the weekend.
Patrick Lambie will get his first start, while JP Pietersen returns and Schalk Britz is named on the bench.
Stransky said a player like Lambie could be key depending on the weather.
“I like the look of Lambie as flyhalf. It’s a team that obviously a team that is a little more adaptable and flexible in its approach. If the weather is good, hopefully Lambie will be able to move the ball around a little bit. They still have the option to play a kicking game and still have a powerful pack of forwards.”
Meanwhile, South African born Richardt Strauss will start at hooker for Ireland against the Springboks in Dublin.
Strauss, who will line up opposite his cousin Adriaan on Saturday, has been playing for Leinster and qualifies because he has lived in Ireland for three years.
He said he is just happy to be making his debut and is not concerned that it is against his country of birth.
“I made my commitment to Ireland three years ago and I’m just very happy to have this opportunity. For me, it’s probably more special just to run out for Ireland than anything else.”
Ireland coach Declan Kidney said Strauss deserves his spot.
“It’s always difficult to pick up sticks and leave home. No one would have made it easy for him, but he’s come through and found his way here and he’s been picked by merit. We’re very lucky to have him.”
Kidney has painted the Springboks as a rugby powerhouse.
He hinted that the Boks should be more than well equipped and prepared to take on the Irish.
Kidney said the Boks constantly produce some of the world's best players.
“The fact that they have 600 professional players gives them more to choose from and they’ve had quite a number of guys coming through; they gone and won the Under 20 World Cup again this year – which is always a good stepping stone to bringing players through.”
Kidney admits there are a few Bok players they might not have done their homework on.
“They have a lot of exciting talent in their set up that we probably don’t know much about, as we might know about some of the other lads. It is going to be a huge challenge for us.”
Full squad to face Ireland:
(Edited by Tamsin Wort)
15. Zane Kirchner (Vodacom Blue Bulls) 21caps
14. JP Pietersen (The Sharks) 45 caps
13. Jaco Taute (MTN Golden Lions) 2 caps
12.Jean de Villiers (captain) DHL Western Province 81 caps
11. Francois Hougaard (Vodacom Blue Bulls) 24 caps
10. Pat Lambie (The Sharks) 17 caps
9. Ruan Pienaar (Ulster, N-Ireland) 60 caps
8. Duane Vermeulen (DHL Western Province) 4 caps
7. Willem Alberts (The Sharks) 17 caps
6. Francois Louw (Bath, England) 14 caps
5. Juandré Kruger (Vodacom Blue Bulls) 5 caps
4. Eben Etzebeth (DHL Western Province) 8 caps
3. Jannie du Plessis (The Sharks) 39 caps
2. Adriaan Strauss (vice-captain, Toyota FS Cheetahs) 18 caps
1. Tendai Mtawarira (The Sharks) 41 caps
16. Schalk Brits (Saracens, England) 3 caps
17. CJ van der Linde (MTN Golden Lions) 73 caps
18. Pat Cilliers (DHL Western Province) 4 caps
19. Flip van der Merwe (Vodacom Blue Bulls) 20 caps
20. Marcell Coetzee (The Sharks) 9 caps
21. Morné Steyn (Vodacom Blue Bulls) 41 caps
22. Juan de Jongh (DHL Western Province) 12 caps
23. Lwazi Mvovo (The Sharks) 7 caps