Port Elizabeth – The Springbok team was announced yesterday at the King’s Beach Garden Court Hotel in Port Elizabeth yesterday in front of a flurry of national and international press.
The announced team, comprised of combination of young, experienced and uncapped players, is set to kick off South Africa’s campaign in the 2017 edition of the Castle Rugby Championship on Saturday at 17:05.
“I grew up here in PE but playing in PE won’t have any bearing on this weekend’s tests, for me what’s important is to show we’ve prepared and I know we have prepared very well and that gives us confidence,” said Springbok Coach, Allister Coetzee. Coetzee’s confidence of Uzair Cassiem was evident as Cassiem was given the no.8 jersey in the absence of injured captain Warren Whitely.
“It’s important to note that we only had one number eight, in Captain Warren Whitely, now we have Uzair Cassiem and Daniel du Preez in the mix,” Coetzee said.
He also brought to attention young Sharks sensation, and former Grey High School fly-half Curwin Bosch.
Coetzee has shown an immense amount of confidence in the young fullback, and believes he will play a vital role in the years to come. “He is a wonderful young talent and without a doubt he is a prolific goal kicker and he covers both the 10 and 15 position, something we had with Frans Steyn,” he said.
In the front row, the return of veteran tighthead prop Coenie Oosthuizen will be able to firmly challenge the strong Argentine scrum. “The scrums is where the challenge will come from the Argentines pride themselves in scrummaging. I also have to mention that Coenie Oosthuizen has really played well and will play a vital role in the front row,” expressed Coetzee.
Coetzee showed immense confidence in his captain Eben Etzebeth as he praised his decision making, “The captain we have has a no nonsense approach, he doesn’t see things in grey, its black or white, and he is the same with his decisions.”
The Springbok side to face Argentina in Port Elizabeth is:
- Andries Coetzee; 14. Raymond Rhule; 13. Jesse Kriel; 12. Jan Serfontein; 11. Courtnall Skosan; 10. Elton Jantjies; 9. Ross Cronje; 8. Uzair Cassiem ; 7. Jaco Kriel; 6. Siya Kolisi; 5. Franco Mostert; 4. Eben Etzebeth; 3. Coenie Oosthuizen; 2. Malcolm Marx; 1. Tendai Mtawarira
Replacements: 16. Bongi Mbonambi; 17. Steven Kitshoff; 18. Trevor Nyakane; 19. Pieter-Steph du Toit; 20. Jean-Luc du Preez; 21. Francois Hougaard; 22. Curwin Bosch; 23. Damian de Allende