Louw in action for Springboks

5 June 2013

Talismanic Bath Rugby flanker Francois Louw will be in action for South Africa on Saturday when they face Italy on Saturday having been named in the starting line-up, kick-off 16.15 BST.

Willie le Roux (fullback) and Jano Vermaak (scrumhalf) will earn their Springbok debuts in the starting team, while a trio of uncapped players on the bench are Trevor Nyakane (prop), Arno Botha (loose forward) and Jan Serfontein (centre), who was part of the SA Under-20 team that won the Junior World Championships last year.

Stalwarts Bryan Habana (wing), Pierre Spies (No 8) and Tendai Mtawarira (prop), who missed the tour last November because of injury and health issues, are back in the starting team.

JJ Engelbrecht (centre) will start his first Test for South Africa at outside centre and Bjorn Basson (wing) will earn his seventh cap after last playing for the Springboks during the away leg of the Castle Lager Rugby Championships in 2011.

Commenting on Saturday's Test, the first against Italy in almost three years, Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer said: "We respect the Italians but the focus will be on what we want to achieve this weekend.

"In the past they have been regarded as one of the lesser Test nations, but that is no longer the case. Just look at their performances in the Six Nations this year – they beat Ireland and France in Rome and just lost to England in London.

"They have always been exceptionally strong upfront and will test us, especially at scrum time. But they also have some superb backs and are very well led by Sergio Parisse, so we know this will not be a walk in the park."

The Springbok team to face Italy in Durban is:

15      Willie le Roux 

14      Bryan Habana

13      JJ Engelbrecht         

12      Jean de Villiers (captain)     

11      Bjorn Basson 

10      Morné Steyn 

9        Jano Vermaak

8        Pierre Spies   

7        Willem Alberts

6        Francois Louw

5        Juandré Kruger        

4        Eben Etzebeth         

3        Jannie du Plessis      

2        Adriaan Strauss (vice-captain)      

1        Tendai Mtawarira     


16      Chiliboy Ralepelle     

17      Trevor Nyakane       

18      Coenie Oosthuizen   

19      Flip van der Merwe   

20      Arno Botha    

21      Ruan Pienaar 

22      Pat Lambie

23      Jan Serfontein

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