Jo­han names strong A-team

The Star Early Edition - - SPORT - DARRYN POL­LOCK

South African ‘A’ coach, Jo­han Ack­er­mann has had the lux­ury of nam­ing an ex­pe­ri­enced side to face the French Barbarians at the Moses Mab­hida Sta­dium in Dur­ban to­mor­row.

In to­tal, Ack­er­mann has named seven Spring­boks in his match­day 23, lead by Storm­ers Bok Juan de Jongh at out­side cen­tre.

Bulls prop Trevor Nyakane is the most ex­pe­ri­enced player in the side with 28 caps, but he will be com­ing off the bench. In the start­ing line-up,along­side De Jongh, who has 19 tests, Sharks back Lwazi Mvovo will also add his ex­pe­ri­ence with 17 caps.

Ruan Com­brinck and Jano Ver­maak make up the re­main­ing capped play­ers in the backs, while once-capped Chee­tahs flank Uzair Cassiem is the only Bok in the for­wards.

Eight other play­ers – Lionel Cronje, De­waldt Du­ve­nage, Ruan Botha, Wilco Louw, Franco Marais, Thomas du Toit, Ox Nche and Ja­son Jenk­ins – rep­re­sented the Ju­nior Spring­boks ear­lier in their ca­reers.

Ac­cord­ing to Ack­er­mann, the play­ers have pre­pared well for this clash and he is keen to see how the team play to­gether as a unit.

“We had some good train­ing ses­sions and ev­ery­one is on the same page with re­gards to our ap­proach and ob­jec­tives for this match,” said Ack­er­mann.

“All the play­ers are on form and they have been train­ing well, so it wasn’t an easy de­ci­sion to make and un­for­tu­nately I could not in­clude all the play­ers in our squad in the team for this match, but we will make some changes next week for the en­counter at Or­lando Sta­dium to try and give ev­ery­one game time.”

One of the more ob­vi­ous changes would prob­a­bly be Kings fetcher Chris Cloete, who is serv­ing a ban and can­not par­tic­i­pate in this match.

Spring­bok fly­half Han­dre Pol­lard may well also play a part in next week’s match hav­ing joined the SA ‘A’ side ear­lier this week.

Ack­er­mann said the team is in high spir­its about the prospect of play­ing at the iconic venue.

“Ev­ery­one is very ex­cited to be the first team ever to play a big rugby match at Moses Mab­hida Sta­dium.

“These are mo­ments we will cher­ish as a squad.

“What will make it more ideal, is to have strong sup­port as well at this mag­nif­i­cent venue and we hope to put on a per­for­mance which the spec­ta­tors will en­joy.”

The game is set to kick off at 4.45pm to­mor­row and will be tele­vised on SS1 and CSN.–

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