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Pienaar and 'Boks up against Botha and 7 more Toulon stars in World XV

South Africa head coach Heyneke Meyer has named an experimental midfield including the exciting 21-year-old Jesse Kriel.

Matfield and Botha, in tandem against the Lions in 2009, will go head to head on Saturday.
Matfield and Botha, in tandem against the Lions in 2009, will go head to head on Saturday.
Image: AP/Press Association Images

WITH JEAN DE Villiers restricted to the replacements bench, Victor Matfield has been named captain of South Africa for Saturday’s (kick-off 5pm Irish time) Rugby Championship warm-up against a World XV laden with talent from Toulon.

Including the retiring second row partnership of Bakkies Botha and Ali Williams,  the three-time European champions have supplied eight players to the World XV’s starting line-up with two more among the replacements.

Three more Springboks are named alongside Botha in his final appearance as a professional: Gurthro Steenkamp (Toulouse), JJ Engelbrecht and replacement Flip van der Merwe (both Blue Bulls) complete the band of familiar foes.

France European Rugby Cup David Smith ought to give JP Pietersen a stern test. Source: AP/Press Association Images

Regular Springbok captain De Villiers takes up a place on the bench as he aims to complete recovery from an injury that, at one point, appeared to put his World Cup involvement in jeopardy.

South Africa’s other big injury problems are evident at number eight where 27-year-old Warren Whitely gets the nod a week from the Championship opener against Australia with Duane Vermeulen and Willem Alberts facing a tight race to be fit for the World Cup.

Jesse Kriel celebrates his try Head coach Heyneke Meyer calls Jesse Kriel (seen here celebrating an U20 try last year) 'one of the most talented players i have ever coached'. Source: Photosport/Andrew Cornaga/INPHO

Ulster scrum-half Ruan Pienaar partners Handre Pollard at half-back with uncapped 21-year-old Jesse Kriel and Damian de Allande forming a youthful centre partnership between the recognised first choice back three of Bryan Habana, JP Pietersen and Willie le Roux.

South Africa

15 Willie le Roux
14 JP Pietersen
13 Jesse Kriel
12 Damian de Allende
11 Bryan Habana
10 Handre Pollard
9 Ruan Pienaar

1 Tendai Mtawarira
2 Bismarck du Plessis
3 Jannie du Plessis
4 Eben Etzebeth
5 Victor Matfield (Capt)
6 Francois Louw
7 Marcell Coetzee
8 Warren Whiteley

Replacements:
16 Adriaan Strauss
17 Trevor Nyakane
18 Vincent Koch
19 Oupa Mohoje
20 Schalk Burger
21 Cobus Reinach
22 Pat Lambie
23 Jean de Villiers

World XV:

15 Delon Armitage
14 Lachlan Turner
13 JJ Engelbrecht
12 Maxime Mermoz
11 David Smith
10 Mike Harris
9 Luke Burgess

1 Gurthro Steenkamp
2 Craig Burden
3 Carl Hayman
4 Ali Williams
5 Bakkies Botha (Captain)
6 Jordan Taufua
7 Steffon Armitage
8 Luke Whitelock

Replacements:
16 David Roumieu
17 Alexandre Menini
18 Petrus du Plessis
19 Flip Van der Merwe
20 Louis-Benoit Madaule
21 Maxime Machenaud
22 Andrew Horrell
23 Rudi Wulf

Ex-Munster centre de Villiers nears Springboks comeback after horror injury

Wing competition heats up for Trimble ahead of Ireland’s RWC warm-ups

About the author:

Sean Farrell

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