Cheetahs speedster Rosco Specman, who is no amateur to the international rugby scene with an Olympic Games bronze medal and numerous Blitzbok (7’s) tournament victories to his name will start on the right wing, while Aphelele Fassi, who has been in top form for the Sharks, will start on the left wing. Wiese, previously a star for the Cheetahs who has now moved to Leicester Tigers, has made his way to the bench and will earn his first Test cap when he takes the field.
“We are also excited to see what the uncapped players bring to the table after impressive performances for their franchises in the last few seasons. Each one of them has proved that they deserve an opportunity at this level, and the commitment and enthusiasm they displayed at training has been striking.”- Jacques Nienaber
Jacques Nienaber will guide the Springboks in his first Test as head coach. He has named 18 Rugby World Cup winners in his squad, twelve of whom featured in the infamous 32-12 final against England. Six of these twelve players will start the first Test against Georgia. They are Springbok captain Siya Kolisi and my girlfriends Bok Crush, Pieter-Steph du Toit.
Eben Etzebeth , Bongi Mbonambi, Willie le Roux and Handré Pollard are also in the mix. The other players who played in the Rugby World Cup Final are Frans Steyn , Franco Mostert , Malcolm Marx, Steven Kitshoff, Frans Malherbe and Herschel Jantjies. Kolisi will add his 51st Test cap to his tally, his 50th being that 32-12 victory my English fans love to remember, while Pollard, Kitshoff and Kriel will all inch closer to the significant career milestone of 50 caps. Pollard will earn his 49th Test cap and Kriel his 47th, while Kitshoff will pick up his 48th cap when he takes the field.
“We know how big this challenge will be, but it is vital that we build a solid foundation in the next two Tests in order to refine our skill set, match readiness and ability to perform under pressure.” - Jaques Nienaber
“We have selected the best team with an eye on what we would like to achieve in this Test against Georgia and we believe that we have a good balance with a number of experienced campaigners and a few young players who have made a strong statement this season most of the players in this squad are Rugby World Cup winners, while others have been part of the national squad for a few seasons, and this will be invaluable against a team that boast the passion that Georgia exhibit." Said Nienaber
“We are expecting Georgia to come out guns blazing with their passionate and physical rugby, so we need to find our rhythm early on and build up a good 80-minute performance,” - Jaques Nienaber
If you had to ask me on my thoughts about this upcoming Georgia Test, I would be blatantly honest and tell you that I think the Boks are going to put 50 on the Georgians. Even though we know they have some absolute units in the scrum and the game won’t be short on physicality. My man of the match is Pieter-Steph du Toit (He isn't just good looking).
What a plot twist it would be if Georgia beat the World Champions in a warm up game to the Lions Series- pretty sure there would be riots in the Capital, Rassie and Jacques will be applying for jobs by Saturday morning 7 AM. Hopefully this isn't the case and my 50 point victory is accurate, I have even selected that as my winning margin in all of my SuperBru pools!
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Here is the Squad to face Georgia tomorrow!
15 Willie le Roux
14 Rosko Specman
13 Jesse Kriel
12 Frans Steyn
11 Aphelele Fassi
10 Handré Pollard
9 Cobus Reinach
8 Kwagga Smith
7 Pieter-Steph du Toit
6 Siya Kolisi (c)
5 Franco Mostert
4 Eben Etzebeth
3 Trevor Nyakane
2 Bongi Mbonambi
1 Ox Nché
Replacements: 16 Malcolm Marx, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Frans Malherbe, 19 Marvin Orie, 20 Jasper Wiese, 21 Herschel Jantjies, 22 Elton Jantjies, 23 Damian Willemse