Juan de Jongh Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

DURBAN – South African ‘A’ coach, Johan Ackermann has had the luxury of naming an experienced side to face the French Barbarians at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban on Friday

In total, Ackermann has named seven Springboks in his matchday 23, lead by Stormers Bok Juan de Jongh at outside centre.

Bulls prop Trevor Nyakane is the most experienced player in the side with 28 caps, but he will be coming in off the bench. In the starting line-up, despite De Jongh who has 19 tests, Sharks back Lwazi Mvovo will also add his experience with 17 caps.

Ruan Combrinck and Jano Vermaak make up the remaining capped players in the backs while one-cap Cheetahs flank Uzair Cassiem is the only Bok in the forwards.

Eight other players - Lionel Cronje, Dewaldt Duvenage, Ruan Botha, Wilco Louw, Franco Marais, Thomas du Toit, Ox Nche and Jason Jenkins -represented the Junior Springboks earlier in their careers.

According to Ackermann, they prepared well for this clash and he is keen to see how the team play together as a unit.

“We had some good training sessions and everyone is on the same page with regards to our approach and objectives for this match,” said Ackermann. 

“All the players are on form and they have been training well, so it wasn’t an easy decision to make and unfortunately I could not include all the players in our squad in the team for this match, but we will make some changes next week for the encounter at Orlando Stadium to try and give everyone game time.

One of the more obvious changes would probably be Kings fetcher Chris Cloete who is serving a ban and cannot participate in this match. Bok flyhalf Handre Pollard may well also play a part in next week’s match having joined the SA ‘A’ side earlier this week.

Ackermann said the team is in high spirits about the prospect of playing at the iconic venue.

“Everyone is very excited to be the first team ever to play a big rugby match at Moses Mabhida Stadium.

“These are moments we will cherish as a squad. What will make it more ideal, is to have strong support as well at this magnificent venue and we hope to put on a performance which the spectators will enjoy.”

The South African ‘A’ side to face the French Barbarians in Durban:

15. Lwazi Mvovo (Sharks), 14. Ruan Combrinck (Lions), 13. Juan de Jongh (captain, Stormers), 12. Harold Vorster (Lions), 11. Makazole Mapimpi (Southern Kings), 10. Lionel Cronje (Southern Kings), 9. Jano Vermaak (Stormers), 8. Sikhumbuzo Notshe (Stormers), 7. Ruan Ackermann (Lions), 6. Uzair Cassiem (Cheetahs), 5. Ruan Botha (Sharks), 4. Andries Ferreira (Lions), 3. Wilco Louw (Stormers), 2. Franco Marais (Sharks), 1. Thomas du Toit (Sharks)

Replacements:

16. Ramone Samuels (Stormers), 17. Ox Nche (Cheetahs), 18. Trevor Nyakane (Bulls), 19. Jason Jenkins (Bulls), 20. Andisa Ntsila (Southern Kings), 21. Dewaldt Duvenage (Stormers), 22. Fred Zeilinga (Cheetahs), 23. Francois Venter (Cheetahs)

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