DO OR DIE FOR SPRINGBOKS
By: Lindokuhle Ndaba
The Springboks look to revive their hopes of winning the Castle Lager Rugby Championship this weekend in a must-win game against an Australian side with equal hopes.
Coach Heyneke Meyer moved swiftly to replace the injured Francois Louw with Oupa Mohoje and Ruan Pienaar with Francois Hougaard.
On the bench the uncapped Scrum Half Cobus Reinach joins Bakkies Botha, Schalk Burger and JP Pietersen. Warren Whiteley, Lood de Jager and Damian de Allende fall out of the 23-man squad altogether.
“Losing Willem Alberts and Francois Louw is like losing Richie McCaw and Kieran Reid, but we have been blessed with loose forwards in this country. Oupa has really come on in leaps and bounds and I am very impressed with him- it is great to see him start, he deserves it. With Schalk we feel that we need the experience off the bench and he has been putting in man-of-the-match performances in his past three games.” said Meyer
The coach justified Burger’s allocation after being criticised for picking older members in the squad instead of opting for younger players for development purposes.
The Springboks have it all to play for but their title hopes also rest on a determined Argentinian side defeating New Zealand at the weekend.
Springbok Team: Willie le Roux, Cornal Hendricks, Jan Serfontein, Jean de Villiers (captain), Bryan Habana, Handre Pollard, Francois Hougaard, Duane Vermeulen, Teboho ‘Oupa’ Mohoje, Marcell Coetzee, Victor Matfield, Eben Etzebeth, Jannie du Plessis, Adriaan Strauss, Tendai Mtawarira
Replacements: Bismarck du Plessis, Trevor Nyakane, Marcell Van der Merwe, Bakkies Botha, Schalk Burger, Cobus Reinach, Pat Lambie, JP Pietersen.