SA 'A' coach Ackermann names strong team to face the French Barbarians

14 June 2017 - 13:22 By Mahlatse Mphahlele
South Africa ‘A’ coach Johan Ackermann.
South Africa ‘A’ coach Johan Ackermann.
Image: Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images

South Africa ‘A’ coach Johan Ackermann has named a strong team to face the French Barbarians at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban on Friday afternoon and he's included seven Springboks in the side.

The team‚ to be captained by Stormers centre Juan de Jongh in the two match series‚ features Lwazi Mvovo‚ Ruan Combrinck‚ Jano Vermaak and Uzair Cassiem in the starting line while Trevor Nyakane and Francois Venter are on the bench.

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 and Ackermann is keen to see how they will play together as a unit.

“We had some good training sessions here in Durban 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.

"We will make some changes next week for the encounter at Orlando Stadium to try and give everyone game time.”

The French Barbarians have also named a strong squad and Ackermann said they expect a tough battle against the visitors.

“The French Barbarians named a very strong team and we need to be pretty precise in game management and execution to keep them at bay.

"I do expect them to be very attack-minded as well‚ so we need to find the correct balance in our approach.”

Ackermann said the players are excited to play rugby at the iconic Moses Mabhida‚ a venue that was build for the 2010 World Cup.

“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.”

SA ‘A’ Squad:

15. Lwazi Mvovo‚ 14. Ruan Combrinck‚ 13. Juan de Jongh‚ 12. Harold Vorster‚ 11. Makazole Mapimpi‚ 10. Lionel Cronje‚ 9. Jano Vermaak‚ 8. Sikhumbuzo Notshe‚ 7. Ruan Ackermann‚ 6. Uzair Cassiem‚ 5. Ruan Botha‚ 4. Andries Ferreira‚ 3. Wilco Louw‚ 2. Franco Marais‚ 1. Thomas du Toit

Replacements: 16. Ramone Samuels‚ 17. Ox Nche‚ 18. Trevor Nyakane‚ 19. Jason Jenkins‚ 20. Andisa Ntsila‚ 21. Dewaldt Duvenage‚ 22. Fred Zeilinga‚ 23. Francois Venter

- TMG Digital/TMG Sport