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SA Team for SA vs FIJI



Will update when the final team is announced, but at the moment looks like:

Percy Montgomery
JP Pietersen
Jaque Fourie
Frans Steyn
Bryan Habana
Butch James
Fourie du Preez
Schalk Burger
Juan Smith
Wikus van Heerden
Victor Matfield
Bakkies Botha
CJ van der Linde
John Smit (captain)
Os du Randt

With Schalk Burger again at No.8.
"Danie Rossouw will start at number eight for the Springboks when they take on Fiji on Sunday. The bruising number eight, who was injured against Tonga a fortnight ago, will replace Schalk Burger. Jake White will, however, give Burger a run at 8."

I've heard mixed reviews of Burger at No.8. It was nice to see him have the ball in hand and bashing attempted tackles. But it's not his natural position, he won the world player of the year at flank, so if something works... keep doing it! Plus he looked REALLY shaky when picking up the ball from the base of the scrum. At the moment it doesn't seem he'll be able to pick it up form the scrum (reliably and consistently) and pass it to Du Preez like Bob and Danie have been doing regularly at scrums.
Personally I like the Scalk/Wikus/Juan combination as a back row. You`ve got 3 strong ball carriers, 3 good defenders, 3 good lineout options. Plus you get in 2 blokes who can play to the ball and be effective at the breakdown in Schalk and Wikus, and 2 guys with some offloading skills in Juan and Schalk. But I`d actually prefer Schalk and Wikus on the flanks, and Juan at 8. He`s a much more natural 8, having spent the early part of his career there. Plus he`s actually got better general hand skills.

So is it official, CJ`s recovered from his bruised knee? So Dr. Du Plessis won`t get his RWC debut?
White said that the way things look now, CJ will be playing, with Du Plessis on the bench. If, however, CJ is still worried about his knee on Sunday, they will swop.
Ja, I`ve heard the same thing Aeros. But last time I saw them training, CJ was actually on crutches. And apparently Faan Rautenbach`s been put on standby to cover for CJ if his injury is too severe to continue.

I`d honestly rather start with Dr. Doep and have Guthro on the bench. Guthro did, after all, win us an u/21 RWC at tighthead before moving over to the loosehead side. I certainly won`t want to risk a potential tourney-ending injury to CJ at this stage hey!
The Springbok team for Sunday is as follows (existing caps in brackets) and RWC Tests after.:

1. Os du Randt (77) - 13
2. John Smit (71)© - 9
3. CJ van der Linde (45) - 4
4. Bakkies Botha (41) - 9
5. Victor Matfield (64) - 8
6. Schalk Burger (35) - 5
7. Juan Smith (38) - 8
8. Danie Rossouw (28) - 7
9. Fourie du Preez (35) - 3
10. Butch James (23) - 3
11. Bryan Habana (32) - 4
12. Francois Steyn (13) - 4
13. Jaque Fourie (34) - 7
14. JP Pietersen (12) - 4
15. Percy Montgomery (91) - 9
16. Gary Botha (12) - 1
17. Gurthro Steenkamp (12) - 1
18. Jannie du Plessis (2) - 0
19. Johann Muller (19) - 2
20. Wikus van Heerden (12) - 4
21. Ruan Pienaar (17) - 3
22. Wynand Olivier (19) – 2
23. Andre Pretorius (29) - 4
I take it if CJ doesn`t make it to the final starting lineup, we`ll have a normal squad of 22. But if he is in fact fit, who`ll drop out of the squad for the final match 22? Probably one of the props, Guthro maybe, although please Jake, let it be Wynand who drops out!
Yes, if CJ isn't going to play, Gurthro Steenkamp will take his place with doc Du Plessis on the bench.

Which means CJ will drop out. To be honest, I hope he does, because we need him more in the semi-final than we do here. We can't run the risk of his injury getting worse in this game. (By the way, White said that CJ was on crutches only to give his knee a rest, not because he actually needed them. But still, not a good thing.)

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