Boks name team for RWC opener

Friday, September 9, 2011
By: 
Kemantha Govender

Durban - The Springboks will kick off their Rugby World Cup campaign against Wales on Sunday with their most experienced team ever.

The team, which has a staggering total of 815 caps, features 16 members of the victorious 2007 squad in the match day squad, with 11 in the starting 15.

Coach Peter de Villiers made five changes from the one that defeated New Zealand 18-5 in the final game of the Tri-Nations in Port Elizabeth last month.

Captain John Smit replaces Bismarck du Plessis and loosehead prop Tendai Mtawarira takes Gurthro Steenkamp's place in the front row, featuring all Sharks players.

Schalk Burger comes in for Willem Alberts on the openside flank, Frans Steyn is named at fullback, while lock Danie Rossouw replaces Bakkies Botha, ruled out because of a nagging Achilles injury.

De Villiers named another two forwards on the bench alongside Du Plessis, Steenkamp and Alberts: prop CJ van der Linde and Ulster-based lock Johann Muller, who could make his first appearance since the third Test against the British and Irish Lions in 2009.

Francois Hougaard and Butch James complete the bench line-up for Sunday's Pool D clash at Westpac Stadium.

The South Africans have won the last five matches against Wales and have never lost an opening game at a Rugby World Cup.

This is also the first time that the two nations will meet in a World Cup tournament.

Teams:

South Africa: 15 Frans Steyn, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Jaque Fourie, 12 Jean de Villiers, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Morn, Steyn, 9 Fourie du Preez, 8 Pierre Spies, 7 Schalk Burger, 6 Heinrich Br~ssow, 5 Victor Matfield, 4 Danie Rossouw, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 John Smit (captain), 1 Beast Mtawarira. 

Substitutes: 16 Bismarck du Plessis, 17 Gurthr" Steenkamp, 18 CJ van der Linde, 19 Johann Muller, 20 Willem Alberts, 21 Francois Hougaard, 22 Butch James. - BuaNews

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