Springboks delay naming team - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Springboks delay naming team

Darren Walton 09/08/2011 07:53:17 PM Comments (0)

The Springboks have delayed naming their team to face the Wallabies in Saturday's Tri Nations Test in Durban due to fresh fitness concerns over key forwards Pierre Spies and Danie Rossouw.

Boks coach Peter de Villiers was expected to unveil a formidable line up on Tuesday containing close to a dozen Rugby World Cup winners, but will instead wait until Thursday to make an announcement.

Spies has a groin strain while Rossouw has been on a drip for the past two days because of a gastro problem picked up on the flight back from Sydney on Sunday.

Both are still expected to line up at Kings Park, with the Wallabies bracing for another torrid test on the back of last Saturday's 30-14 loss to the All Blacks in Auckland.

After taking a second-string squad on the two-Test tour of Australasia, de Villiers is tipped to name 10 players from the 2007 World Cup final triumph over England in his starting XV.

De Villiers will reprise virtually the entire World Cup-winning backline, with classy centre Jean de Villiers - who missed World Cup glory in France through injury - the only "newcomer".

Most significantly, halfback Fourie du Preez, a former world player of the year, will make his first Test appearance since South Africa's 2009 spring tour of Europe.

Providing Rossouw recovers in time, the back-to-business Boks will also field four forwards from the '07 Cup final - Rossouw, legendary locks Victor Matfield and Bakkies Botha and hooker and captain John Smit.

With arguably the world's premier hooker, Bismarck du Plessis, included on the bench, a total of 11 World Cup winners will take on the Wallabies in Durban, a far cry from the rookie-laden line-up that Australia destroyed 39-20 last month.

"It's clearly a different Boks side to the one we met in Sydney," Wallabies coach Robbie Deans said.

"It's essentially the incumbent World Cup squad that will be running out.

"Obviously they (the first-choice Boks) have been sitting here and wouldn't have enjoyed the recent fixtures and you've got a World Cup coming and the squad hasn't been picked yet, so they've got an awful lot to play for."

Many of the Springboks haven't played since before the end of Super Rugby in June but, ominously, just like the All Blacks in Auckland last Saturday night, South Africa will assemble their most experienced Test line-up ever.

"With experience, rust isn't an issue. We saw that last weekend with the All Blacks performance," Deans said.

"That was the most experienced All Black side yet and they were right on song."

Deans also laughed off one local reporter's suggestion the Wallabies would be more at ease at sea level after enjoying a "big win" over the Boks on the high-veldt of Bloemfontein last year.

"I wouldn't call it a big win," Deans said of the hoodoo-busting, after-the-bell 41-39 victory.

"Test rugby isn't about comfort. To suggest we're more comfortable playing at sea level, the answer's probably no.

"The great thing about playing in South Africa is it doesn't matter where you play, you're playing in a great cauldron.

"Kings Park is one of the great rugby stadiums, so we do enjoy that."

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