Connect to share and comment

RugbyU: South Africa tap U20 star for Scotland start

PlacardEnlarge
(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

South African coach Heyneke Meyer has selected world junior player of the year and baby Bok star fly-half Handre Pollard to start for his first Test cap against Scotland on Saturday.

Pollard, who led South Africa to runners-up spot in the recent under-20 World Championship in New Zealand, will start at number 10 in a side that sees five other changes from that which narrowly beat Wales 31-30 last week.

"Our plans had always been to try a few new combinations this week against Scotland and I'm looking forward to see the guys grab their opportunities," said Meyer.

"Handre is a very talented player and has a big opportunity this week, but he'll have Fourie du Preez's experience next to him, while he's played a lot with Jan Serfontein before."

Coenie Oosthuizen, Lood de Jager, Marcell Coetzee, Schalk Burger and Lwazi Mvovo also come into the starting XV.

Many of the changes were due to English and French clubs calling players back from international duty, while Tendai Mtawarira, Flip van der Merwe, Willem Alberts and Johan Goosen have all been ruled out by injury.

Four possible new caps are also on the bench: prop Marcel van der Merwe, lock Stephan Lewies, back row forward Teboho 'Oupa' Mohoje and fly-half Marnitz Boshoff.

Scotland come into the game on the back of victories against the United States, Canada and Argentina.

But this will be the sternest test yet of new coach Vern Cotter's unbeaten record.

South Africa team to play South Africa in Port Elizabeth on Saturday:

Team (15-1)

Willie le Roux; Cornal Hendricks, JP Pietersen, Jan Serfontein, Lwazi Mvovo; Handre Pollard, Fourie du Preez; Duane Vermeulen, Schalk Burger, Marcell Coetzee; Victor Matfield (capt), Lood de Jager; Jannie du Plessis, Bismarck du Plessis

Replacements: Coenie Oosthuizen, Adriaan Strauss, Trevor Nyakane, Marcel van der Merwe, Stephan Lewies, Teboho 'Oupa' Mohoje, Francois Hougaard, Marnitz Boshoff

arb/lp

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/140625/rugbyu-south-africa-tap-u20-star-scotland-start