Barbarians and Springboks name teams for London clash

by AFP

South Africa will field a revamped side against the Barbarians at London's Wembley Stadium on Saturday after coach Allister Coetzee unveiled his matchday squad for the Springboks' European tour opener on Thursday.

By tradition, matches against the invitational side are non-cap encounters and, with South Africa staying in London to play England at Twickenham the following weekend, Coetzee has decided to rest the bulk of his first-choice team.

Instead, there are nine uncapped players in the matchday 23, with wings Sergeal Petersen and Jamba Ulengo, centres Francois Venter and Rohan Janse van Rensburg, flanker Roelof Smit and lock RG Snyman all in the starting XV.

Andy Ellis played in the 2010 match between South Africa and the Barbarians. Photo: Getty ImagesOnly three forwards that started South Africa's record 47-15 loss to world champions New Zealand in Durban last month -- flanker Oupa Mohoje, lock Pieter-Steph du Toit and prop Tendai Mtawarira have been retained.

With no foreign-based players available for the match as it falls outside World Rugby's designated window for international fixtures, Lourens Adriaanse returns at tighthead prop.

Meanwhile, Snyman will partner Du Toit, the newly-crowned South Africa Rugby Player of the Year, in the second row.

In the back row, Smit replaces the injured Francois Louw at openside flanker.

Fly-half Patrick Lambie, captaining the side in the absence of the rested Adriaan Strauss, forms a new half-back pairing with scrum-half Rudy Paige.

Luke Morahan in action at Barbarians training. Photo: Getty ImagesJesse Kriel, who impressed as a centre during South Africa's run to the semi-finals of last year's World Cup in England, make his first Springbok start at fullback.

South Africa have lost five of their nine Tests in 2016 and Saturday's match has been given added interest by the fact the Barbarians' starting line-up features four South African players

"The Barbarians play an attacking, adventurous style of rugby and it will be a real test for our young side," said Coetzee after announcing his side in London.

"They have an excellent, world-renowned coach in Robbie Deans, exciting young players in their side, including some South Africans," he added of a Barbarians side where Stormers fly-half Robert du Preez, Lions hooker Akker van der Merwe, Hurricanes prop Reggie Goodes and Lions lock Martin Muller will all be looking to star against their compatriots.

"It will be a really big occasion for our young players, but we're excited to be giving them an opportunity.Kiwi Andy Ellis will captain the Baabaas. Photo: Getty Images"In ideal circumstances I would've preferred to give every player in the squad a run, but this tour was also about introducing players who are on our radar for the future, while also introducing them to the Springbok way and ethos," Coetzee explained.

This will be the Barbarians' eighth match against South Africa since their inaugural encounter in 1952, with the invitational team 4-3 up in the series following a 26-20 win in 2010.  

2011 World Cup winner Andy Ellis will captain the Barbarians side on Saturday.

Ellis was a member of the Barbarians side that beat South Africa in 2010 to take a 4-3 lead in their head to head matches.

Nic Stirzaker training with the Barbarians. Photo: Getty Images"It was a pretty special moment beating South Africa last time," said Ellis.

"It's a beautiful thing. You make friendships. I'm still in touch with the guys I played with in 2010.

"This new team has come together, we're getting on well and we're having fun and now it's just about fronting up and making sure we perform at the weekend.

"We understand how proud the Barbarians are and we've got a real job to do here.

"The guys want to play for themselves, for the club, for their families -- all sorts of different motivations but we're in a pretty good place. Boks taking on the Boks helps. They'll certainly want to prove themselves," added the 32-year-old scrum-half


Barbarians (15-1):  Melani Nanai; Matt Faddes, Seta Tamanivalu, Richard Buckman, Taqele Naiyaravoro; Robert du Preez, Andy Ellis (capt); Luke Whitelock, Jordan Taufua, Brad Shields; Michael Fatialofa, Martin Muller; Paddy Ryan, Akker van der Merwe, Reggie Goodes

Reserves: Andrew Ready, Schalk van der Merwe, Toby Smith, Sam Carter, Ruan Ackermann, Nic Stirzaker, Richard Mo'unga, Luke Morahan

South Africa (15-1): Jesse Kriel; Sergeal Petersen, Francois Venter, Rohan Janse van Rensburg, Jamba Ulengo; Pat Lambie (capt), Rudy Paige; Nizaam Carr, Teboho Mohoje, Roelof Smit; Pieter-Steph du Toit, RG Snyman; Lourens Adriaanse, Malcolm Marx, Tendai Mtawarira

Reserves: Bongi Mbonambi, Lizo Gqoboka, Trevor Nyakane, Eben Etzebeth, Jean-Luc du Preez, Piet van Zyl, Tian Schoeman, Ruan Combrinck