South Africa v Wales in Cardiff
Venue: Millennium Stadium
Referee: Alan Lewis (Ireland)
South Africa begins its Southern Hemisphere season..in the north. Its been over a decade since South Africa ventured north to play test rugby but they are doing it again in a one-off Northern test. Both teams are without key players, but because South Africa are missing a number of top line players, Wales are fancying their chances.
Last weeks Super 14 final involved two South African teams so a number of Blue Bulls and Western Stormer players are missing. Into the mix come a few new players, some second-string players and some overseas-based players recalled. It is an interesting selection and certainly gives the South Africans an unpredictable look about them.
Wales are preparing for a southern tour to New Zealand. They will want put their disappointing 6 Nations performances behind them and begin the last stanza of their season with a convincing display.
Last Five Encounters
08.11.2008 South Africa 20-15 in Cardiff
14.06.2008 South Africa 37-21 in Pretoria
07.06.2008 South Africa 43-17 in Bloemfontein
24.11.2007 South Africa 34-12 in Cardiff
19.11.2005 South Africa 33-16 in Cardiff
Wales last defeated South Africa in 1999, when they won 29-19 in Cardiff.
GWC Rugby Rankings
World Table-South Africa 4th, Wales 9th
IRB Points-South Africa 88.60, 2nd; Wales 78.91, 8th.
Prediction: South Africa to just squeak in by 3 points.
15 Lee Byrne, 14 Leigh Halfpenny, 13 James Hook, 12 Jamie Roberts, 11 Tom Prydie, 10 Stephen Jones, 9 Mike Phillips, 8 Ryan Jones (c), 7 Sam Warburton, 6 Jonathan Thomas, 5 Deiniol Jones, 4 Bradley Davies, 3 Adam Jones, 2 Matthew Rees, 1 Paul James.
16 Huw Bennett, 17 John Yapp, 18 Alun Wyn Jones, 19 Rob McCusker, 20 Richie Rees, 21 Dan Biggar, 22 Andrew Bishop.
Head Coach: Warren Gatland
15 Frans Steyn, 14 Gio Aplon, 13 Jaque Fourie, 12 Juan de Jongh, 11 Odwa Ndungane, 10 Ruan Pienaar, 9 Ricky Januarie, 8 Joe van Niekerk, 7 Dewald Potgieter, 6 François Louw, 5 Victor Matfield, 4 Danie Rossouw, 3 BJ Botha, 2 John Smit, 1 CJ van der Linde.
16 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 17 Jannie du Plessis, 18 Alistair Hargreaves, 19 Ryan Kankowski, 20 Meyer Bosman, 21 Zane Kirchner, 22 Bjorn Basson.
Head Coach: Peter de Villiers