26 September 2013
Adriaan Strauss and Fourie du Preez have been recalled to the Springbok starting line-up for Saturday’s Castle Lager Rugby Championship test against Australia at Newlands in Cape Town.
Coach Heynecke Meyer was at pains to point out that the changes had long ago been decided as part of his rotational policy, and in the case of Strauss, his inclusion at hooker and nothing to do with Bismarck du Plessis’ unfortunate red card in Auckland, which was later rescinded.
Prop Jannie du Plessis and flyhalf Morne Steyn will both play their 50th tests for South Africa, with Steyn, already the most-capped Springbok flyhalf of all time, just two points shy of 600 points after 49 matches.
By playing in his 50 test, Jannie du Plessis will ensure he and brother Biscmarck becoming the first South African brothers to achieve the milestone.
They will also become only the fifth set of brothers to achieve the feat after Mauro and Mirco Bergamasco of Italy; Scotland’s and the British Lion’s Scott and Gavin Hastings; Massimo and Marcello Cuttitta of Italy and Robin and Zinzan Brooke of New Zealand.
“We’re all very pleased for Jannie and Morne, who are great ambassadors for South Africa and the Springboks,” Springbok coach Meyer commented at the announcement of the team in Cape Town on Thursday.
“They have endured through difficult times, but have shown a lot of resilience and that is why they have made it to this special milestone. It’s well-deserved and a privilege only a very small percentage of Springboks have achieved.”
Referencing the two changes to the starting team, Meyer said: “The players all knew what the plans were for the Rugby Championships and where they stand. We were always going to rotate players where possible and planned to start this test with Adriaan and Fourie.
“We know we’re in for a big challenge against Australia. The players have been working very hard and we’re looking forward to playing in front of our own supporters at DHL Newlands on Saturday. It’s always special to play tests in South Africa,” he added.
Saturday’s test will be South Africa’s 50th at Newlands since 1891, making it the first stadium in South Africa to host 50 tests.
In their previous 49 tests at the ground, South Africa have won 33, lost 14 and drawn two matches.
The Springboks have met the Wallabies 10 times at Newlands, winning seven of those contests, including the last five in succession. Three of those matches have been decided by four points or less.
Their last loss to the Australians in Cape Town was in 1992. In their most recent meeting at Newlands in 2009, South Africa won 29-17.
Zane Kirchner, Willie le Roux, JJ Engelbrecht, Jean de Villiers (captain), Bryan Habana, Morne Steyn, Fourie du Preez, Duane Vermeulen, Willem Alberts, Francois Louw, Flip van der Merwe, Eben Etzebeth, Jannie du Plessis, Adriaan Strauss, Tendai Mtawarira
Bismarck du Plessis, Gurthro Steenkamp, Coenie Oosthuizen, Juandre Kruger, Siya Kolisi, Ruan Pienaar, Pat Lambie, Jan Serfontein
SAinfo reporter and SA Rugby