An SA Perspective

Words from South Africa

Springboks name squad to face the Lions

John Smit

Springbok team management named the 2009 squad to face the British and Irish Lions for a three test series, last night in Johannesburg.

Bulls fly-half Morne Steyn is the only new face in the experienced squad that comprises of 10 of his Bulls team mates.

On Steyn’s selection, Coach Peter De Villiers stated that, “Morne Steyn earned his spot by performing week in, week out – he had an outstanding Super 14.”

A surprise choice was Lions flyhalf, Earl Rose who toured with the Springboks in 2008 but is yet to get a run in the Bok jersey. When questioned about Rose’s decision, De Villiers stated that he “hadn’t had a bad Super 14 run.”

The main question that arises with the new squad is, who will be playing at the fullback position, with Percy Montgomery retired and Stormers fullback, Conrad Jantjes breaking a leg in a Super 14 league game earlier this year.

The coach however is confident that he has enough talent to cover the position. “We have a number of options at fullback and it will be a matter of looking at combinations in the next couple of weeks,” he stated.

JP Pietersen, Frans Steyn and Earl Rose were the names that have come up to possibly play in the position. De Villiers explained that, “The deciding factor will be the style of rugby we want to play.”

The full Springbok Squad is: JP Pietersen, Francois Steyn, Earl Rose, Jongikhaya Nokwe, Odwa Ndungane, Jaque Fourie, Adrian Jacobs, Wynand Olivier, Jean de Villiers, Bryan Habana, Morne Steyn, Ruan Pienaar, Fourie du Preez, Enrico Januarie, Pierre Spies, Ryan Kankowski, Juan Smith, Schalk Burger, Danie Rossouw, Victor Matfield, Bakkies Botha, Andries Bekker, John Smit, Deon Carstens, Bismarck du Plessis, Chiliboy Ralepelle, Tendai Mtawarira, Gurthro Steenkamp.

The Springboks will face the British & Irish Lions in Durban on June 20, Pretoria on June 27 and Johannesburg on 4 July.

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