The Springbok and Wallabies teams for Saturday’s game have been announced and the good news is that Rocky Elsom has cleared his name of the citing nonsense (well, almost).
On a specially convened teleconference, SANZAR judicial representatives from each member country said “You are a penis” to Nick Davidson QC of New Zealand, who started this bullshit in the first place. Rocky gets a one week suspended sentence and runs on this weekend.
Otherwise, Aussie Robbie has made a few interesting tinkers, but otherwise put out a strong side this weekend. While being a dead rubber, there’s no doubting the intensity the Saffas will bring, giving an opportunity to fully blood a few bench sitters.
Most interesting will be seeing Tim Tam Tahu start at 12, for the first time as a Wallaby. Sounds like he’s impressed the crap out of Deans and it’ll be fascinating to see him have a full run. A good question is who plays 10 if Gits goes down. I think Smith is probably the best suggestion I’ve heard.
McMenimen also gets a start at lock, and it gives you an idea of how low Sharpe’s stocks have sunk in that he doesn’t even make the bench having flown over from Perth. It does mean there aren’t a lot of caps facing Matfield, but it looks like you need to be able to offer more than just running into contact to impress Antipodeans.
AAC comes back from injury, Waugh gets the nod ahead of Smith (good idea in a grudge match) and TPN gets a reprieve to show he can throw. This makes a very green line-out, but holds the future for the Wallabies.
For the Saffas, turns out the Matfield injury was, as expected, total BS to try and frame Rocky. Ndungane comes in for the lame (in more than one sense) Pietersen. And get this – Francois ‘Napoleon Dynamite’ Steyn – actually concussed himself while taking Shmoo Mitchell out in the air. New haircut new respect for Drew.
Adam Ashley-Cooper; Peter Hynes, Stirling Mortlock, Timana Tahu, Lote Tuqiri; Matt Giteau, Sam Cordingley; Wycliff Palu, Phil Waugh, Rocky Elsom; Hugh McMeniman, James Horwill; Matt Dunning, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Benn Robinson
Replacements: Stephen Moore, Al Baxter, Dean Mumm, George Smith, Brett Sheehan, Ryan Cross, Drew Mitchell
15-Conrad Jantjes; 14-Odwa Ndungane, 13-Adrian Jacobs, 12-Jean de Villiers, 11-Jongi Nokwe; 10-Butch James, 9-Fourie du Preez; 8-Pierre Spies, 7-Juan Smith, 6-Schalk Burger; 5-Victor Matfield (capt), 4-Andries Bekker, 3-Brian Mujati, 2-Bismarck du Plessis, 1-Tendai Mtawarira.
Replacements:16-Adriaan Strauss, 17-Jannie du Plessis, 18-Danir Rossouw, 19-Luke Watson, 20-Ricky Januarie, 21-Ruan Pienaar, 22-Percy Montgomery.