South African Rugby

Thursday, September 06, 2007

First game of the world cup 2007

John Smit returns at hooker to captain South Africa almost three months after he injured his hamstring back in June. Apart from the return to fitness of Smit and centre Jean de Villiers, the team has no real surprises. On the wing Pietersen edges the talented Frans Steyn, who finds a spot as impact player on the replacement bench, and an out of sorts Ashwin Willemse.

South Africa's overall record against Samoa: Played 5; Won 5; Points for 257 and points against 58. An average score of 51-12.

Commentators have mentioned Springboks should guard against complacency ahead of their Samoa in Paris on Sunday. The focus of the attention at today's first media conference was the highly anticipated Group A clash next Friday - a match that will in all possibility determine the Group a winners.

The islanders are physical and gave England a run for their money at the 2003 World Cup in Australia.England, on the other hand, takes on the United States before the match against the Springboks.

With injuries no longer a concern, White is expected to unleash the big guns for Sunday's match. Hopefully we do not get too many injuries those Samoan boys are brutal.

South Africa: 15 Percy Montgomery, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Jaque Fourie, 12 Jean de Villiers, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Butch James, 9 Fourie du Preez, 8 Danie Rossouw, 7 Juan Smith, 6 Schalk Burger, 5 Victor Matfield, 4 Bakkies Botha, 3 CJ van der Linde, 2 John Smit (c), 1 Os du Randt. Replacements: 16 Bismarck du Plessis, 17 BJ Botha, 18 Johann Muller, 19 Wikus van Heerden, 20 Ricky Januarie, 21 André Pretorius, 22 Francois Steyn.

Date: Sunday, 9 September Venue: Parc des Princes, Paris Kick-off: 16:00 (15:00 BST) Referee: Paul Honiss (New Zealand)


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