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South Africa team announced for Ireland test

The Springboks are decimated by injuries, but Peter de Villiers still pulls together a strong team for Saturday’s test.

Image: Tony Marshall/EMPICS Sport

SOUTH AFRICA HAVE named a much-changed side for Saturday’s Guinness Series test match against Ireland – the first international to be held at the Aviva Stadium.

Peter de Villiers’ squad has been decimated by injuries in the lead up to the test series; regular skipper John Smit, Andries Bekker, Fourie du Preez, Butch James, Heinrich Brussow, Gurthro Steekamp and BJ Botha have all been ruled out for some time, but injury has also claimed Jaque Fourie, Wynand Olivier, JP Pietersen, Ricky Januarie, Juan de Jongh and Schalk Burger in the last two weeks alone.

The fifteen announced by de Villiers shows eight changes from the Springbok side that ended the Tri-Nations against Australia in September.

There’s a Test debut for Deon Stegmann, while the experienced Bryan Habana, Jannie Du Plessis, Pierre Spies, Morne Steyn, Juan Smith, and Victor Matfield – who will captain the side – will all start.

South Africa are also waiting on Jean de Villiers who faces a late fitness test. If he fails, uncapped Sharks utility back Patrick Lambie could make his debut.

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The full South Africa XV and replacements:

(15-1) Gio Aplon; Bjorn Basson, Zane Kirchner, Jean de Villiers/Patrick Lambie, Bryan Habana; Morne Steyn, Ruan Pienaar; Pierre Spies, Juan Smith, Deon Stegmann; Victor Matfield (capt), Bakkies Botha; Jannie du Plessis, Bismarck du Plessis, Tendai Mtawarira

Replacements: Chiliboy Ralepelle, CJ van der Linde, Flip van der Merwe, Willem Alberts/Keegan Daniel, Francois Hougaard, Adi Jacobs, Patrick Lambie/Lwazi Mvovo

About the author:

Hugh O'Connell

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