Mostert to start for South Africa
July 28, 2011
Uncapped lock Gerhard Mostert has been named in the Springbok second row for this weekend's meeting with the All Blacks © Getty Images
Gerhard Mostert will make his South Africa debut in Saturday's Tri-Nations clash with New Zealand in Wellington.
The 26-year-old lock, who earlier this month announced that he will be leaving the Sharks to join Stade Francais, was not a part of the Springboks' original touring party but was drafted into the squad last weekend for the injured Johann Muller. Mostert has now been thrust into the starting line-up because of the unavailability of another lock, Flip van der Merwe, who has been ruled out with a rib injury sustained in last weekend's 39-20 defeat by Australia. Mostert will be joined in the second row by Alistair Hargreaves, who has recovered from an abdominal strain.
There are three other changes in personnel to the side beaten by the Wallabies in Sydney, with both Jean Deysel and Patrick Lambie set to make their first starts for the Boks. Deysel comes into the side at blindside flanker in a move that sees Danie Rossouw switch to No.8 and Ashley Johnson drop to the bench. Lambie, meanwhile, starts at fullback in place of the injured Gio Aplon.
The final change sees Adi Jacobs preferred to Wynand Olivier in midfield. Juan de Jongh switches to No.12 to accommodate the return of Jacobs.
Regarding the inclusion of Mostert, de Villiers said: "People may have forgotten that I included Gerhard in my first training squad in 2008 but he has been struggling with different injuries over the past few seasons. He came back strongly for the Sharks this season and now circumstances have given him an opportunity to show what he can do.
"Pat Lambie also gets his first start and this too is his chance to demonstrate the ability we know he has at test level. It's a tough challenge for both of them and the rest of the young players but they have a chance to do something special here."
De Villiers also revealed that his players were determined to bounce back after their opening-round defeat by the Wallabies by upsetting the All Blacks on home soil.
"We have had a few injury challenges on this tour and last week was not a good start, but we have learnt from our game against Australia," he said. "There have been some frank exchanges this week and the players know what is expected of them and that this is their opportunity."
South Africa: Patrick Lambie; Bjorn Basson, Adi Jacobs, Juan de Jongh, Lwazi Mvovo; Morne Steyn, Ruan Pienaar; Dean Greyling, John Smit (capt), Werner Kruger; Gerhard Mostert, Alistair Hargreaves; Deon Stegmann, Jean Deysel, Danie Rossouw.
Replacements: Chiliboy Ralepelle, CJ van der Linde, Ryan Kankowski, Ashley Johnson, Charl McLeod, Wynand Olivier, Odwa Ndungane
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