Patrick Lambie will lead a new-look Springbok team, which includes six uncapped players in the starting line-up and a number of Currie Cup stars, against the Barbarians on Saturday at the Wembley Stadium in London.
The match-23 for the Springboks’ first of four Outgoing Tour matches includes a total of nine uncapped players, however, no Test caps will be awarded for this international fixture.
The newcomers in the starting line-up are RG Snyman (lock), Roelof Smit (flank), Jamba Ulengo (wing), Rohan Janse van Rensburg (inside centre), Francois Venter (outside centre) and Sergeal Petersen (wing).
Tendai Mtawarira (prop), Pieter-Steph du Toit (lock) and Oupa Mohoje (flank) are the only players in the pack that started for the Springboks against the All Blacks in Durban last month.
There is a return to the starting team for Lourens Adriaanse in the No 3 jersey in place of Vincent Koch who is not available for this match, while Julian Redelinghuys is injured. Snyman will partner Du Toit, the newly-crowned SA Rugby Player of the Year, in the second row.
Openside flanker Smit comes in for the injured Francois Louw, while Jaco Kriel could also not be considered as a result of his injury. The final change in the pack will see Nizaam Carr taking over the No 8 jersey from Warren Whiteley who is also not available for this match.
The Boks will start with a revamped halfback pairing in Rudy Paige (scrumhalf) and new skipper Lambie (flyhalf), with regular captain, Adriaan Strauss, not in the match 23 as part of the succession planning in his position.
The rest of the backline consists of Ulengo, Janse van Rensburg, Venter, Petersen and Jesse Kriel, who will start his first match for the Boks at fullback.
Springbok coach Allister Coetzee said the Springboks’ aim was to improve after a difficult season, but that it would not be easy against the Barbarians.
“The Barbarians play an attacking, adventurous style of rugby and it will be a real test for our young side,” said Coetzee.
“They have an excellent, world-renowned coach in Robbie Deans, exciting young players in their side, including some South Africans, as well as several players who have a lot of Test match experience.
“We rewarded several young players for their performances in Vodacom Super Rugby and the Currie Cup and we will approach this match as a Test, although no caps will be awarded.
“It will be a really big occasion for our young players, but we’re excited to be giving them an opportunity. Even though some of the experienced players were last in action against New Zealand four weeks ago, our preparation the past few weeks was really good.
“The excitement and enthusiasm of the new inclusions is contagious. In ideal circumstances I would’ve preferred to give every player in the squad a run, but this tour was also about introducing players who are on our radar for the future, while also introducing them to the Springbok way and ethos. I am sure they will work even harder to stay in the squad.”
The Springboks have played the Barbarians in seven matches so far, with the Baabaas leading 4-3 in wins.
On the other side of the field, the Barbarians will field four South African-born players, who will have a chance to impress against their fellow countrymen.
Stormers fly half Robert du Preez, Lions hooker Akker van der Merwe, Hurricanes prop Reggie Goodes and Lions lock Martin Muller all start against their fellow countrymen with young Lions flanker Ruan Ackermann on the bench.
There are seven capped players in the match day squad with New Zealand’s 2011 World Cup winner Andy Ellis captaining the side.
Ellis, who was part of the famous invitation side who won 26-20 in 2010 against the Springboks, understands the unique way the Barbarians combine talented performers from around the globe in the space of a few days before taking on established international teams.
“It was a pretty special moment beating South Africa last time,” he said. “It’s a beautiful thing. You make friendships. I’m still in touch with the guys I played with in 2010.
“This new team has come together, we’re getting on well and we’re having fun and now it’s just about fronting up and making sure we perform at the weekend. We understand how proud the Barbarians are and we’ve got a real job to do here.
“The guys want to play for themselves, for the club, for their families – all sorts of different motivations but we’re in a pretty good place. Boks taking on the Boks helps. They’ll certainly want to prove themselves.”
Barbarians – 15 Melani Nanai (Blues), 14 Matt Faddes (Highlanders), 13 Seta Tamanivalu (Crusaders), 12 Richard Buckman (Highlanders), 11 Taqele Naiyaravoro (Waratahs), 10 Robert du Preez (Stormers), 9 Andy Ellis (Crusaders, c), 8 Luke Whitelock (Highlanders), 7 Jordan Taufua (Crusaders), 6 Brad Shields (Hurricanes), 5 Michael Fatialofa (Hurricanes), 4 Martin Muller (Lions), 3 Paddy Ryan (Waratahs), 2 Akker van der Merwe (Lions), 1 Reggie Goodes (Hurricanes).
Subs: 16 Andrew Ready (Reds), 17 Schalk van der Merwe (Montpellier), 18 Toby Smith (Rebels), 19 Sam Carter (Brumbies), 20 Ruan Ackermann (Lions), 21 Nic Stirzaker (Rebels), 22 Richard Mo’unga (Crusaders), 23 Luke Morahan (Force).
Springboks – 15 Jesse Kriel, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Francois Venter, 12 Rohan Janse van Rensburg, 11 Jamba Ulengo, 10 Pat Lambie (c) 9 Rudy Paige, 8 Nizaam Carr, 7 Oupa Mohoje, 6 Roelof Smit, 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 RG Snyman, 3 Lourens Adriaanse, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Subs: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Lizo Gqoboka, 19 Trevor Nyakane, 19 Eben Etzebeth, 20 Jean-Luc du Preez, 21 Piet van Zyl, 22 Tian Schoeman, 23 Ruan Combrinck.
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