SA President’s XV coach Jimmy Stonehouse on Monday named a new-look team for their IRB Tbilisi Cup clash against Emerging Ireland in Georgia on Tuesday.
Only three players who featured in the starting team in their opening clash against Uruguay, lock and captain Brendon Snyman, flank Uzair Cassiem and centre Adriaan Engelbrecht, retained their places in the run-on team as Stonehouse opted to ensure that his entire touring squad receives game time.
No8 Zandrē Jordaan, who has recovered from the flu which ruled him out of the clash against Uruguay, has been handed a starting berth.
Prop Vincent Koch will make his first appearance in the tournament in a strong all Steval Pumas front row with tighthead Ivann Espag and hooker Frank Herne.
From a leadership perspective, flyhalf Carl Bezuidenhout, who replaces Ricardo Croy at pivot, also takes over the vice-captain duties from his team-mate.
Looking ahead at the clash, Stonehouse said: “Emerging Ireland is a very physical and balanced team and they boast international experience as three players in their squad have played Test rugby. They also have seven Ulster players in the mix, which will make them a very competitive outfit. Their ability to string together quality phases and their impressive distribution makes them particularly dangerous.”
Given the team’s strengths, Stonehouse said it was imperative to match them in the set phases and to improve their ball retention to keep alive hopes of remaining at the top of the log ahead of their final clash against Georgia on Sunday.
“The big battles will be in the set phases, so we have to be strong up-front,” said the coach. “We have worked hard on our scrummaging in the last few days, but I believe if we dominate the set pieces and build phases on attack, we will do well.”
Snyman echoed Stonehouse’s sentiments about the importance of forward domination and said: “We have done our analysis on Emerging Ireland and we know what to expect. The keys to victory will be to match them physically and to execute our game plan well. We saw against Uruguay how important it is to dominate in the scrums, so that will also be a key area for us.”
The SA Presidents XV team to face Emerging Ireland at the Avchala Rugby Stadium:
15. Coenie van Wyk (Steval Pumas)
14. Alshaun Bock (SWD Eagles)
13. Wilmaure Louw (Steval Pumas)
12. Adriaan Engelbrecht (Leopards)
11. Rosco Speckman (Steval Pumas)
10. Carl Bezuidenhout (Steval Pumas)
9. Ntando Kebe (Regent Boland Cavaliers)
8. Zandrē Jordaan (Regent Boland Cavaliers)
7. Uzair Cassiem (Steval Pumas)
6. Brian Shabangu (Border Bulldogs)
5. Brendon Snyman (Leopards)
4. Eduan van der Walt (Steval Pumas)
3. Ivann Espag (Steval Pumas)
2. Frank Herne (Steval Pumas)
1. Vincent Koch (Steval Pumas)
16. Khwezilokuza Mkhafu (Border Bulldogs
17. Martin Dreyer (Leopards)
18. Giant Mtyanda (SWD Eagles)
19. Jaco Bouwer (Steval Pumas)
20. Sinovuyo Nyoka (Border Bulldogs)
21. Stefan Watermeyer (Steval Pumas)
22. Jerome Pretorius (Steval Pumas)