South Africa names team to play Wales

logoHeyneke Meyer has announced his team to play Wales this Saturday at the Millenium Stadium. Experienced backs JP Pietersen and Jaque Fourie return to the team, to give the back-line a whopping 447 caps between them.

“We’re very fortunate to have two world-class players in JP and Jaque available for selection and I wanted to get them into the action as soon as possible,” said Meyer.

“They bring a vast amount of experience to the team and it was clear from our training sessions thus far that they are in great form and ready for Test rugby.”

In the front row, young Frans Malherbe will make his debut at tighthead in the absence of injured Jannie du Plessis.

“Frans has big boots to fill, but he’s been with us for most of 2012 and shown good form since recovering from injury recently and we don’t have any doubts that he has what it takes to make the step up,” said Meyer.

“He’ll have two players with more than 50 Test caps each next to him in the scrum, and his general work-rate across the field and on defence is very good. I’m very happy for Frans.”

What do you make of the South Africa team? Will they beat Wales this weekend?

South Africa team to play Wales:
15. Pat Lambie
14. JP Pietersen
13. Jaque Fourie
12. Jean de Villiers (c)
11. Bryan Habana
10. Morné Steyn
9. Fourie du Preez
8. Duane Vermeulen
7. Willem Alberts
6. Francois Louw
5. Flip van der Merwe
4. Eben Etzebeth
3. Frans Malberhe
2. Bismarck du Plessis (vc)
1. Tendai Mtawarira
16. Adriaan Strauss
17. Gurthrö Steenkamp
18. Coenie Oosthuizen
19. Pieter-Steph du Toit
20. Siya Kolisi
21. Ruan Pienaar
22. JJ Engelbrecht
23. Willie le Roux

12 thoughts on “South Africa names team to play Wales

  1. A huge surprise to see Pietersen in the side Willie Le Roux a far better choice. A huge challenge awaits good luck lads

  2. Although it looks like 2 well matched sides I fancy SA for this one. Wales get better with time together so I don’t fancy their chances first up.

    Who is covering tighthead from the bench? Thought both of those guys were loosehead (though Osthuizen looks to be the size of an entire front row on his own)

  3. Which is the Saffer front row who looks like Chris Farley and tends to be bought on from the bench? I can never remember his name yet he is a superb player

    Shame Le Roux isn’t starting. He’s a fantastic runner

  4. I thought I’d be more scared… maybe Wales do have a chance. Why no Kirchner? he would suit playing Wales over Lambie who is not doubt a skilful player, but not as big and direct running. Fourie du Preez is my danger man, if he has a good game watch out. Can JP Pietersen and Jaque Fourie step up after a Japanese excursion???

    1. If FdP could why would JF and JP not step up as well? Then there is George Smith for the Wobblies on the Lions tour – their best player by far.

      You cannot buy experience. McCaw proved that when he played the full 80+ mins in the last Bok game. These guys have tons of experience, should be fresh and should not slip up.

      This backline will be a lot more solid defensively than the one which played against the ABs. Also Lambie and Steyn are interchangeable at FH depending on the field position and expected play. Wales may just have a few problems given that this backline will play and defend differently to the one which played in the RC.

      Wales best chance here is to put together a 82 minutes forward display which takes the SA backs out of the equation. Lastly the bench is a lot more flexible than the one which played the ABs last. If Habana is injured, there is proper wing replacement. In my view this backline looks a lot more solid than anything that was put out on in the RC.

      1. Agree with you points in principal about experience, but do you think George Smith was the Aussies best player? He didn’t play in the first two tests and was knocked out about 10 minutes into the third?

        Also, you want Wales to take SA on up front? Isn’t the exact opposite of what any sane person would do against the Boks? They are HUGE! That back row is massive and bringing the game in tight will be brutal.

        1. I’ve taken to many smacks the head. You are right – I am thinking of Smith in the S15.

          Wales need to start getting some self belief that they can take the Boks on up front. This is the basis to defeat any Bok team. If you start with the belief you cannot do it because they are HUGE, you have already lost the war.

          Stretching the game as Pablito suggests is a tacit acceptance you cannot front up in the tight five and that a mere holding job there is best. This notion that stretching the game is going to wear out the Bok tight five is fools gold in my view. Look at how athletic those guys in that tight 5 are. If Flip van der Merwe who is probably the only one who is not athletic struggles they bring on PSdT.

          Wales have lost every encounter barring the 99 win because they cannot dominate the tight 5 exchanges for 80 minutes. I’m not calling for a grinding forward game. I’m calling for the tight five to dominate the exchanges and give the rest a chance to play ball. Start by stopping every single attempt at a driving maul and you are halfway there.

  5. Agree with you Jacob. The Welsh will lose if they try and play a tight game.

    Whilst they do need to be aggressive in defence, in attack they need the forwards to equal the massive SA bunch at the breakdown, giving Philips the chance to get the ball away quickly and Priestland the chance to distribute the ball to his centres and back three

    The more they can stretch the SA forwards and bring Ha’Penny and North into the game, the more chance they have of winning

    That said, as Jay points out, it will take a huge forward effort from Wales to equal the SA forwards throughout the entire game.

    If you could ally the Welsh backs to the SA forwards (+ Lydiate and Adam Jones) you’d have a hell of a team

    1. Sorry Pablito, did you say get the ball away quickly and Philips in the same sentence? Old Spikey will be picking and going against the SA back row. You know he likes a challenge!

  6. This is the game i’m most looking forward to this weekend. The South African national and club teams have been playing some brutal rugby at times recently, they’ve stepped up their physicality a notch higher which i would have thought was almost impossible. Jean de Villiers is in the form of his life too. However, Wales at home with all their stars back together is a daunting prospect. I think SA might just have too much but as a neutral i don’t really care about the result, i just want to see a good game!

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