Springboks to face in-form World XV: Mallett

14 May 2014

The Springboks will face an in-form team when they take on a World XV at Newlands in Cape Town on 7 June in their first test of 2014, Nick Mallett, the coach of the composite side, said on Tuesday.

The squad of 23 players is made up of tests stars from New Zealand, France, Australia, Ireland, Samoa, Tonga, Georgia and South Africa, and boasts a total of 707 caps between them.

‘Very good form’

“The group of players who have been selected for this match are not only very experienced, but are all in very good form at the moment,” Mallett said in a statement.

The latest additions to the squad of 23 include four All Blacks with 185 tests worth of experience between them. Experienced hooker Andrew Hore, who has 83 caps for New Zealand, heads the list of Kiwis, followed by scrumhalf Jimmy Cowan (51 tests) and speedsters Sitiveni Sivivatu (45) and Rene Ranger (6).

The Kiwi quartet will be joined in the World XV squad by French test players Aurelien Rougerie (centre, 71 caps) and Alexandre Lapandry (loose forward, 6 caps), as well as loose forwards Roger Wilson (Ireland, 1 cap) and Mamuka Gorgodze (Georgia, 51 caps).

Samoan lock Joe Tekori (26 caps) and Tongan prop Sona Taumalolo (5 caps) will add a Pacific flavour to the line-up.

The only uncapped members of the squad are the South Africans Rory Kockott and Schalk Ferreira. The most experienced of the South African contingent in the squad is BJ Botha, who has 25 Springbok caps to his name, followed by Juandre Kruger (17 caps), Schalk Brits (5 caps) and Alistair Hargreaves (4 caps).

‘Very happy’

“I’m very happy that the final pieces of the jigsaw are now falling into place,” said Mallett.

“Despite the very short preparation time, I’m really looking forward to getting together with this group of very talented players and preparing them for this match.

‘Relishing the opportunity’

Looking ahead, Mallett added: “It promises to be a very exciting match, looking at the talent assembled in this strong squad. I’m sure they are all relishing the opportunity to play against the Springboks in South Africa.

“It’s also a rare chance to see a World XV-style team playing in South Africa, and where better than the oldest test venue in the country?”

Unfortunately French loose forward Julien Bonnaire, who has 75 test caps to his name, was forced to withdraw from the squad because of an injury. A replacement will be named in due course.

Tickets

Tickets for the match – priced from R75 for standing tickets to R250 and R350 for seated tickets – are available from Postnet outlets nationwide, the Western Province ticket office and online from www.ticketpros.co.za.

SAMSUNG WORLD XV SQUAD

Backs: James O’Connor (London Irish, Australia, 44 test caps), Drew Mitchell (Toulon, Australia, 63), Hosea Gear (Toulouse, New Zealand, 14), Sititiveni Sivivatu (Clermont, New Zealand, 45), Aurelien Rougerie (Clermont, France, 71), Rene Ranger (Montpelier, New Zealand, 6), Matt Giteau (Toulon, Australia, 92), François Trinh-Duc (Montpelier, France, 48), Rory Kockott (Castres, South Africa, uncapped) and Jimmy Cowan (Gloucester, New Zealand, 51)

Forwards: Steffon Armitage (Toulon, England, 5), Alexandre Lapandry (Clermont, France, 6), Roger Wilson (Ulster, Ireland, 1), Mamuka Gorgodze (Montpellier, Georgia, 51), Alistair Hargreaves (Saracens, South Africa, 4), Joe Tekori (Toulouse, Samoa, 26), Juandre Kruger (Racing Metro, South Africa, 17), Schalk Brits (Saracens, South Africa, 5), Andrew Hore (New Zealand, 83), Schalk Ferreira (Toulouse, South Africa, uncapped), Sona Taumololo (Perpignan, Tonga, 5), BJ Botha (Munster, South Africa, 25) and Carl Hayman (Toulon, New Zealand, 45)

SAinfo reporter