Tri Nations Kick Off
Joe van Niekerk will be playing instead of Pierre Spies or Ryan Kankowski for the No.8 position for the Tri Nations opening game against the Kiwis in Wellington.
Coach Peter de Villiers said: "Joe came back into the Springbok camp after having a brilliant Super 14 and he showed to all of us that he means business. The kiwis have been surprised at our new coach’s selection.
How The Boks Compare
In the front, the All Blacks boast a strong scrum, props Tony Woodcock and Greg Somerville and the Super 14’s hooker Andrew Hore. But the Boks reign supreme in the air, with combination of locks Victor Matfield and Bakkies Botha and captain John Smit’s throws that was under the old rules and with the new rules in (No restrictions on players in the lineout) and the kiwis used to playing them our locks need to get up to speed. The good news is Richie McCaw is out.
In the backline Butch James had an outstanding World Cup year and has been working his magic with Bath, but is up against the famous Dan Carter.
While Jean de Villiers is the form inside centre of world rugby, he will be matched by the menace of Ma’a Nonu, while Conrad Smith has more street smarts and combination than rookie Adrian Jacobs.
The last time we beat the Kiwis in Wellington was in 1998 and I sure they are gunning for us to try make up for the World cup, it is going to be a hard game with crappy weather let’s hope our boys pull it off.
New Zealand: 15 Mils Muliaina, 14 Sitiveni Sivivatu, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Rudi Wulf, 10 Dan Carter, 9 Andy Ellis; 1 Tony Woodcock, 2 Andrew Hore, 3 Greg Somerville, 4 Brad Thorn, 5 Ali Williams, 6 Adam Thomson, 7 Rodney So'oialo (capt), 8 Jerome Kaino.Replacements: 16 Keven Mealamu, 17 Neemia Tialata, 18 Anthony Boric, 19 Sione Lauaki, 20 Jimmy Cowan, 21 Stephen Donald, 22 Leon MacDonald.
South Africa: 15 Conrad Jantjes, 14 Odwa Ndungane, 13 Adrian Jacobs, 12 Jean de Villiers, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Butch James, 9 Ricky Januarie; 1 Gurthro Steenkamp, 2 John Smit (capt) , 3 CJ van der Linde, 4 Bakkies Botha, 5 Victor Matfield, 6 Schalk Burger, 7 Juan Smith, 8 Joe van Niekerk.Replacements: 16 Bismarck du Plessis, 17 Brian Mujati, 18 Andries Bekker, 19 Luke Watson, 20 Bolla Conradie, 21 Francois Steyn, 22 Percy Montgomery