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Twickenham quarter-final beckons for Louw

14 October 2015

Bath Rugby's Francois Louw, the current joint-top try-scoring forward in this year's Rugby World Cup, starts for South Africa in their crunch quarter-final against Wales at Twickenham this Saturday (k.o. 16.00).

Louw made his 40th appearance for his country in the 64-0 victory against USA last Wednesday at the Olympic Stadium. The experienced JP Pietersen – who scored a hat-trick against Samoa in the second pool match – is included in the only change to the starting team from that which defeated the Eagles.

The 63-capped wing, who has recovered from a knee injury which kept him out of the USA Test, will wear the No 14 jersey and Bryan Habana will revert to the left-wing for this encounter. It will be the 42nd time they play together as a wing-combination in the Springboks’ starting team. 

Habana currently leads the try-scoring stakes at the World Cup with five, while Pietersen is joint-second with four, a position he shares with five other players. 

The Springbok bench shows four changes from the last match. The experienced quartet of Adriaan Strauss, Jannie du Plessis, Ruan Pienaar and Pat Lambie are all back to give the South Africans a boost from the replacements’ bench.

With a combined total of 252 caps between the four of them, these players should be able to make an impact later in the game.

“We’ve seen first-hand how important it is to have experienced players on the field at the end of a match and to have this kind of experience available on the bench in a knock-out match is great,” said Meyer. 

“Saturday’s match will be huge and we are expecting an arm wrestle right until the end. We’re playing against a well-balanced side that always likes to mix things up when it comes to physicality.

“They have a good set-piece and some strong ball carriers upfront and in the back – it’s what you expect to face at this stage of the competition and we’re very excited about the challenge.” 

The only player who was not considered because of injury is Victor Matfield, who felt some discomfort in his hamstring at training on Tuesday.

“We were planning to use Victor from the bench to add even more experience to our replacements, but we’re also not prepared to risk him if he’s not ready. Luckily in Pieter-Steph du Toit we have another young player who has been performing very well and will slot in with ease,” said Meyer.

 The Springbok team to face Wales in London is: 

Position

Name

Franchise / Club

Test Caps

Test points

15

Willie le Roux

Toyota Cheetahs

31

45

14

JP Pietersen

Cell C Sharks

63

110

13

Jesse Kriel

Vodacom Bulls

8

15

12

Damian De Allende

DHL Stormers

10

5

11

Bryan Habana

Toulon

114

320

10

Handré Pollard

Vodacom Bulls

17

141

9

Fourie du Preez (captain)

Suntory

74

75

8

Duane Vermeulen

DHL Stormers

32

10

7

Schalk Burger (vice-captain)

DHL Stormers

83

80

6

Francois Louw

Bath Rugby

40

40

5

Lood de Jager

Toyota Cheetahs

16

20

4

Eben Etzebeth

DHL Stormers

41

5

3

Frans Malherbe

DHL Stormers

9

0

2

Bismarck du Plessis

Cell C Sharks

76

55

1

Tendai Mtawarira

Cell C Sharks

72

10

Replacements:

16

Adriaan Strauss

Vodacom Bulls

51

30

17

Trevor Nyakane

Vodacom Bulls

20

5

18

Jannie du Plessis

Cell C Sharks

67

5

19

Pieter-Steph du Toit

Cell C Sharks

7

0

20

Willem Alberts

Cell C Sharks

35

35

21

Ruan Pienaar

Ulster

87

135

22

Pat Lambie

Cell C Sharks

47

131

23

Jan Serfontein

Vodacom Bulls

23

10

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