Coach Allister Coetzee has unveiled the Springbok squad to battle Italy in Florence on Saturday.
According to Coetzee, he’s looking forward to an improved performance from his guys as they are well prepared for the clash.
He related that the players have been working extremely hard during training and, that there is no lack of effort on their part.
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“We’ve had a good, hard look at the areas we must improve on and we realize Italy will be a tough side playing at home,” Coetzee remarked.
He further said: “Italy will be determined to bounce back after their loss to New Zealand, they have a few South Africans involved in their set-up so they understand we way play and our mentality… there is no easy Test, and we expect a tough battle on Saturday from Italy.”
Apart from a few changes, Coach Coetzee will face Italy with the team that played England in London. He explained that the current squad has only been together for one week before the match against England.
“I would…like us to build longer periods of sustained pressure, to execute better and to convert our scoring opportunities into points,” he explained his decision.
Below is the Springbok squad to battle Italy in Florence:
- Tendai Mtawarira (Cell C Sharks) 85 caps, 10 points
- Adriaan Strauss (captain, Vodacom Blue Bulls) 64 caps, 30 points
- Vincent Koch (Saracens, England) 8 caps, 0 points
- Pieter-Steph du Toit (DHL Western Province) 18 caps 15 points
- Lood de Jager (Vodacom Blue Bulls) 26 caps, 20 points
- Nizaam Carr (DHL Western Province) 3 caps, 0 points
- Willem Alberts (Stade de Francais, France) 42 caps, 35 points
- Warren Whiteley (Docomo Red Hurricanes, Japan) 13 caps, 15 points
- Rudy Paige (Vodacom Blue Bulls) 6 caps, 0 points
- Pat Lambie (Cell C Sharks) 54 caps, 146 points
- Bryan Habana (vice-capt, Toulon, France) 123 caps, 330 points
- Damian de Allende (DHL Western Province) 21 caps, 10 points
- Francois Venter (Toyota Free State Cheetahs) 1 cap, 0 points
- Ruan Combrinck (Xerox Golden Lions) 5 caps, 15 points
- Willie le Roux (Canon Eagles, Japan) 40 caps, 50 points
- Johan Goosen (Racing 92, France) 11 caps, 25 points
- Elton Jantjies (NTT Shining Arcs, Japan) 9 caps, 69 points
- Faf de Klerk (Xerox Golden Lions) 9 caps, 0 points
- Teboho Mohojé (Toyota Free State Cheetahs) 14 caps, 0 points
- Franco Mostert (Ricoh Black Rams, Japan) 5 caps 0 points
- Trevor Nyakane (Vodacom Blue Bulls) 26 caps, 5 points
- Steven Kitshoff (Bordeaux, France) 8 caps, 0 points
- Bongi Mbonambi (DHL Western Province) 4 caps, 0 points
The game-plan showed that record try-scorer Bryan Habana is back at left wing for the Springboks. Also, Pieter-Steph du Toit, the 2016 SA Rugby Player of the Year, will move back to lock in the place of Eben Etzebeth. He’s expected to partner with Lood de Jager.