Cheetahs wing gets first run for BoksComment on this story
Cape Town – Former Sevens star Cornal Hendricks will make his first appearance for South Africa’s 15-man side when they meet a World XV in an exhibition match at Newlands on Saturday.
The Cheetahs wing, who was named South Africa’s Sevens Player of 2013, is the only uncapped player in the team that also sees Bakkies Botha and Victor Matfield reunited in the second row.
“Cornal is a player I’ve been following for some time and I thought he made a very good transition from Sevens to the 15-man code earlier this year,” Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer said in a statement released by the South African Rugby Union on Wednesday.
“He’s big and very fast, and hopefully we’ll be able to provide him with some space to attack in.”
Matfield, who retired in 2011 before returning for the current Super Rugby season, will captain the side aged 37, while fellow lock Botha played his first test in over two years in November.
“If anyone told me two years ago that Victor and Bakkies would play together again for the Boks, I probably wouldn’t have believed it. They have been great servants of the game in South Africa and now have the opportunity to take it further.”
JP Pietersen moves to outside centre, while flanker Schalk Burger features in the match-day squad for the first time in over two years.
Inside centre Frans Steyn, hooker Schalk Brits, wing Lwazi Mvovo and flyhalf Johan Goosen return after playing no tests in 2013.
“We’re also keen to see what JP can offer at outside centre, where he’s played very well for the Sharks earlier in his career and for his club in Japan. Frans and Schalk Brits are both special players with the X-factor and it’s wonderful to have them back,” Meyer said.
The game against the World XV is a warm-up for two home test matches against Wales on June 14 and 21, and a fixture against Scotland on June 28.
South Africa: 15-Willie le Roux, 14-Cornal Hendricks, 13-JP Pietersen, 12-Frans Steyn, 11-Bryan Habana, 10-Morne Steyn, 9-Fourie du Preez, 8-Duane Vermeulen, 7-Willem Alberts, 6-Francois Louw, 5-Victor Matfield (captain), 4-Bakkies Botha, 3-Jannie du Plessis, 2-Bismarck du Plessis, 1-Tendai Mtawarira
Substitutes: 16-Schalk Brits, 17-Gurthro Steenkamp, 18-Coenie Oosthuizen, 19-Flip van der Merwe, 20-Schalk Burger, 21-Fourie du Preez, 22-Johan Goosen, 23-Lwazi Mvovo. – Reuters