Allister Coetzee was today forced to name a side to take on the Blues in Auckland with a number of senior players out to injury.
The centre pairing of Jaque Fourie and Jean De Villiers are both out with a groin strain and chest muscle injury respectively. Whilst Jean De Villiers is consulting a specialist, Jaque Fourie is expected to be fit for next week’s match against the Brumbies. De Villiers and Fourie are replaced this week by Juan De Jongh and Johann Sadie. “Sadie is an out an out 13 and can also cover wing, whilst Juan can play both 12 and 13.” Said Allister Coetzee. “Whilst they do not have much experience together as a combination, Juan is an international and Sadie has that x factor. The players and team are excited about the possibilities.” Added the coach.
In other changes Peter Grant who has not recovered from an ankle strain is replaced by Lionel Cronje. Grant is expected to be available next week again for selection. In a tactical change CJ Van Der Linde replaces Brok Harris who moves to the bench.
A 5/2 bench split has been selected with the possibility of on and off rain on the weekend. Danie Poolman covers wing and Duvenhage 9 and 10. Nick Koster also returns from injury in jersey 22.
“The Blues are playing great rugby and top their conference at the moment. It’s going to be a big game and despite the injury concerns we are focussed, motivated and excited as a team.” Said Coetzee.
The game kicks off at 09h35 on Friday.
The team to play is:
15. CONRAD JANTJES; 14. GIO APLON; 13. JOHANN SADIE; 12. JUAN DE JONGH; 11. BRYAN HABANA; 10. LIONEL CRONJE; 9. RICKY JANUARIE; 8. DUANE VERMEULEN; 7. FRANCOIS LOUW; 6. SCHALK BURGER (CAPT); 5. ANDRIES BEKKER; 4. RYNHARDT ELSTADT; 3. CJ VAN DER LINDE; 2. DEON FOURIE; 1. WICUS BLAAUW
16. TIAAN LIEBENBERG; 17. BROK HARRIS; 18. STEVEN KITSHOFF; 19. ANTON VAN ZYL; 20. DEWALD DUVENHAGE; 21. DANIE POOLMAN; 22. NICK KOSTER