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New Bok era dawns at DHL Newlands

PUBLISHED: June 9, 2016



There are six DHL Stormers players in the match-day squad named by Springbok coach Allister Coetzee for the first Test match of his tenure against Ireland at DHL Newlands on Saturday.

There are six DHL Stormers players in the match-day squad named by Springbok coach Allister Coetzee for the first Test match of his tenure against Ireland at DHL Newlands on Saturday.

Prop Frans Malherbe, lock Eben Etzebeth, flank Siya Kolisi and centre Damian de Allende are all in the starting line-up, while lock Pieter-Steph du Toit is joined on the replacements bench by hooker Bongi Mbonambi who is set to make his Springbok debut.

Coetzee has included six players in the match-23 who did not feature at the Rugby World Cup last year, ushering in a new era for Bok rugby. They are the Emirates Lions quintet of Faf de Klerk, Elton Jantjies, Warren Whiteley, Julian Redelinghuys and Lionel Mapoe, who will earn his first start for the Boks, as well as Mbonambi, the only other uncapped player in the match-day squad.

De Klerk has been in good form this season for the Emirates Lions in Vodacom Super Rugby and he earns a starting berth alongside experienced flyhalf Pat Lambie, who has played in 50 Tests for the Boks.

The Springbok coach said he is looking forward to seeing De Klerk earning his first Test cap for South Africa and that it was good to know Jantjies has fully recovered from his injury. The Emirates Lions flyhalf passed a fitness test at Thursday’s training session at the Cape Town Stadium.

“I have no doubt Faf will do a fantastic job,” said Coetzee.

“He has lots of experience around him in the form of Pat next to him and Duane at the back of the scrum. So in that sense he will be looked after, but I know Faf can also look after himself.

“Both our flyhalves, Pat and Elton, have been in outstanding form in the Vodacom Super Rugby competition and it’s great to have both of them available and in the match day squad. To have a right and left foot kicker at halfback is always a good option,” said Coetzee

Adriaan Strauss will become the 57th player to lead out the Springboks as captain, with the 30-year old Vodacom Bulls hooker playing in his 55th Test for his country.

Strauss will pack down in the middle of the front row between Tendai Mtawarira, who has earned 75 Bok caps, and Malherbe. Coetzee picked Lood de Jager and Etzebeth as his lock pairing, while the loose trio consists of Francois Louw, Kolisi and the experienced Duane Vermeulen.

Amongst the backs, Coetzee opted for an experienced all-Cell C Sharks back trio of Willie le Roux, JP Pietersen and Lwazi Mvovo. Emirates Lions outside centre Lionel Mapoe earns his second Bok cap and partners De Allende in an exciting midfield.

A total of eight players in the run-on team started in the Springboks’ previous Test, last October, when the Boks defeated Argentina 24-13 in London to clinch the bronze medal the 2015 Rugby World Cup. They are Mtawarira, Malherbe, Etzebeth, Louw, Vermeulen, De Allende, Pietersen and Le Roux.

Coetzee said he was pleased with the balance of the team.

“I am excited about the composition of the team and the players selected are rewarded for their consistently good performances in Vodacom Super Rugby,” he said.

“We’ve worked extremely hard these past two weeks to become a team and to make sure we cover all the necessary areas so we can face the Irish.

“The big test will come up front where we will have to make sure that we do well at set pieces, especially at scrum and lineouts. Those are the areas where the Irish have been strong, so we want to compete there and set a platform so our backs can hopefully get into their rhythm.”

Still looking for tickets? Tickets are available from Computicket outlets (0861 915 8000) or online at wprugby.computicket.com as well as at the DHL Newlands Rugby Stadium box office, with WP Rugby season tickets valid for the game.

The majority of tickets still available for sale are in the Railway Stand, and range in price from R545 to R575. There are also tickets available in the Jan Pickard Stand (R545) and the Danie Craven Stand (R575), whilst the Danie Craven Standing area and Grand Stand Ramp seating is sold out.

Ticket prices:
Category 1 – R595 (single seats only)
Category 2 – R575
Category 3 – R545
Category 4 – R395 (sold out)
Category 5 – R295 (sold out)
Category 6 – R100 (sold out)

Springboks: 15 Willie le Roux (Cell C Sharks), 14 JP Pietersen (Cell C Sharks), 13 Lionel Mapoe (Emirates Lions), 12 Damian De Allende (DHL Stormers), 11 Lwazi Mvovo (Cell C Sharks), 10 Pat Lambie (Cell C Sharks), 9 Faf de Klerk (Emirates Lions), 8 Duane Vermeulen (Toulon), 7 Siya Kolisi (DHL Stormers), 6 Francois Louw (Bath,), 5 Lood de Jager (Toyota Cheetahs), 4 Eben Etzebeth (DHL Stormers), 3 Frans Malherbe (DHL Stormers), 2 Adriaan Strauss (captain, Vodacom Bulls), 1 Tendai Mtawarira (Cell C Sharks).
Replacements: 16 Bongi Mbonambi (DHL Stormers), 17 Trevor Nyakane (Vodacom Bulls), 18 Julian Redelinghuys (Emirates Lions), 19 Pieter-Steph du Toit (DHL Stormers), 20 Warren Whiteley (Emirates Lions), 21 Rudy Paige (Vodacom Bulls), 22 Elton Jantjies (Emirates Lions), 23 Jesse Kriel (Vodacom Bulls).