Three to make Springbok debut against Australia

by Staff Writer

Three of the form South African players of the Super Rugby season will make their international debuts against Australia on Saturday, following the announcement of the Springbok team in Sydney today.

Props Dean Greyling and Werner Kruger and looseforward Ashley Johnson were named by coach Peter de Villiers in the Springbok team to meet the Wallabies at the ANZ Stadium in the opening Castrol Edge Tri-Nations test.

The team is led by John Smit, in his 103rd Test, and contains four other Rugby World Cup winners in Wynand Olivier, Ruan Pienaar, Danie Rossouw and Johan Muller. A sixth, CJ van der Linde, is on the bench as the replacement prop.

Heinrich Brüssow was not considered as he continues his rehabilitation from a knee injury.

Uncapped scrumhalf Charl McLeod was named on the bench. Three of the four potential new caps have appeared in non-Test Springbok matches; the exception is Dean Greyling.

“The new caps had outstanding Super Rugby seasons and this is an exciting opportunity for them,” said De Villiers.

“They have been rewarded for their form and now it’s up to them.

“We have got some new combinations, but there is a lot of potential in this side and the players are hungry for this chance.”

Joint Super Rugby top try scorer, Bjorn Basson (nine tries), was named on one wing with Lwazi Mvovo – who was tied for second on the SA scoring log with six – was named on the other in a backline also featuring the pace and elusiveness of Gio Aplon and Juan de Jongh.

The experienced trio of halfbacks Ruan Pienaar and Morne Steyn and inside centre Wynand Oliver complete the backline.

Lock Flip van der Merwe gets the chance to step out of his understudy role to the injured Bakkies Botha and Victor Matfield while Vodacom Bulls pairing, Deon Stegmann and Danie Rossouw partner Johnson in the backrow.

South Africa XV to face Australia

23 July 2011 (ANZ Stadium, Sydney)

No

Player

Province

Caps

15

Gio Aplon

DHL Western Province

13

14

Bjorn Basson

Vodacom Blue Bulls

4

13

Juan de Jongh

DHL Western Province

6

12

Wynand Olivier

Vodacom Blue Bulls

32

11

Lwazi Mvovo

The Sharks

2

10

Morne Steyn

Vodacom Blue Bulls

25

9

Ruan Pienaar

Ulster

47

8

Ashley Johnson

Toyota Free State Cheetahs

-

7

Danie Rossouw

Vodacom Blue Bulls

54

6

Deon Stegmann

Vodacom Blue Bulls

4

5

Johann Muller

Ulster

23

4

Flip van der Merwe

Vodacom Blue Bulls

10

3

Werner Kruger

Vodacom Blue Bulls

-

2

John Smit (captain)

The Sharks

102

1

Dean Greyling

Vodacom Blue Bulls

-

Replacements

16

Chiliboy Ralepelle

Vodacom Blue Bulls

18

17

CJ van der Linde

DHL Western Province

69

18

Alistair Hargreaves

The Sharks

2

19

Jean Deysel

The Sharks

1

20

Charl McLeod

The Sharks

-

21

Adrian Jacobs

The Sharks

32

22

Patrick Lambie

The Sharks

4

Match Facts

Saturday’s match will be the 72nd test between Australia and South Africa since the first meeting in 1933. The Springboks have won 41 tests, lost 29 and drawn one test in 2001.

South Africa’s record against Australia

Played 71; Won 41; Lost 29; Drawn 1; Points for 1 347; Points against 1 239; Tries for 164; Tries against 128; Average score 19-17.

South Africa’s Tri-Nations record against Australia

Played 34; Won 17; Lost 16; Drawn 1; Points for 748; Points against 786; Tries for 70; Tries against 78. Average score 22-23

South Africa’s away record in the Tri-Nations against Australia

Played 17; Won 3; Lost 13; Drawn 1; Points for 255; Points against 440; Tries for 25; Tries against 46. Average score 15-26

South Africa’s record against Australia at this venue

Played 4; Lost 4; Points for 53; Points against 101; Tries for 4; Tries against 12; Average score 13-25.

MILESTONES AND RECORD WATCH

- John Smit will extend his World record of most tests as a captain to 77.

- John Smit will extend his Tri-Nations record of most tests as a captain to 29. Richie McCaw of New Zealand is 2nd on 25 tests as captain with George Gregan of Australia 3rd with 21 tests as captain.

- John Smit will equal Victor Matfield’s career record of 22 caps against Australia.

- John Smit needs one try to equal the Springbok record for most test tries as a hooker. James Dalton and Bismarck du Plessis are the current record holders with 5 tries each.

Morne Steyn needs 38 points in the tournament to equal Percy Montgomery’s career points record for a Springbok in the Tri-Nations of 210.

- The following players will make their Castrol Edge Tri-Nations debut: Lwazi Mvovo, Bjorn Basson, Ashley Johnson, Deon Stegmann, Werner Kruger and Dean Greyling and, should they be used as a substitute, Alistair Hargreaves, Jean Deysel, Charl McLeod and Patrick Lambie.

NB: This release was distributed by the South African Rugby Union.

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