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DHL Western Province No 8 Duane Vermeulen will make his Springbok debut against Australia in Perth on Saturday, in South Africa’s third test in The Rugby Championship for 2012.


Furthermore, Toyota Free State Cheetahs flyhalf Johan Goosen has been selected on the bench and will earn his first Springbok cap if he gets game time at Paterson’s Stadium.

Adriaan Strauss has been included at hooker after coming through a first set of fitness tests, but he will be given until Friday to fully shake his knee injury.

Vermeulen’s inclusion at the back of the scrum is one of five changes from the starting team that played Argentina in Mendoza recently. Two of these changes are positional, with Francois Hougaard moving from scrumhalf to left wing and Willem Alberts shifting from No 8 to flank.

Apart from Vermeulen, there is a recall for lock Juandré Kruger, while Ruan Pienaar will start his first test of 2012 at scrumhalf. This has resulted in two further changes to the bench – Francois Louw has been included in the match 22 for the first time this season, while Lwazi Mvovo is also among the replacements.

“We’ve decided to put Duane straight into the starting team because he is a classic No 8, a position we’ve lacked in since Pierre Spies got injured and Ryan Kankowski moved to Japan,” said Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer in Perth on Wednesday.

“I’ve always admired the way Duane plays rugby and he’s fitted in very well the past week. He would’ve been a Springbok years ago if it had not been for injuries and it’s great to finally see him selected.

“The same goes for Johan, who in my mind can become one of the great flyhalves in world rugby. I’ve been very impressed with his work ethic and attitude since he joined the squad on Thursday in Johannesburg and we will keep on managing him carefully over the next few weeks.”

Commenting on the other changes to the team, Meyer said: “Ruan brings a more tactical approach to scrumhalf, while I’ve always been impressed with Francois at wing.

“At lock we’ve decided to go for Juandré as he plays more to the ball. Juandré and Eben played well as a combination in the June tests against England. And by including Francois on the bench, we have a specialist opensider, but also a versatile loose forward that brings a bit more balance to our back row mix.”

The Springbok team boast a total of 451 test caps: 339 of those are in the backline, while the forwards have 112 caps – one more than the total of Springbok caps accumulated by former captain John Smit in his career.


The Springbok team to face Australia is: 15 Zane Kirchner, 14 Bryan Habana, 13 Jean de Villiers (Captain), 12 Frans Steyn, 11 Francois Hougaard, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Ruan Pienaar,  8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Willem Alberts, 6 Marcell Coetzee, 5 Juandre Kruger, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Adriaan Strauss, 1 Beast Mtawarira
Replacements: 16 Tiaan Liebenberg, 17 Pat Cilliers, 18 Flip van der Merwe, 19 Francois Louw, 20 Johan Goosen, 21 Patrick Lambie, 22 Lwazi Mvovo.

39 Responses to The Rugby Championship: Vermeulen at No 8, Pienaar at No 9, Hougie on the wing, Juandré Kruger at lock, Goosen & Flo on the bench

  • 1

    Stoot en stamp Rugby again.

    Same old same old. Ausmob by at least 8.

  • 2

    Not a bad side. Hope Goosen doesn’t spend the whole match warming the bench. Kirchner is solid, but I would like to see Lambie coming on with around 30 minutes to go. Looks like HM is going to use RP as a specialist 9, which is where he should play IMO. It will give him chance to settle and develop there.

  • 3

    Hello GBS, some interesting changes there, up front its good to see Juandre Kruger back, but having not played a game for a while how match fit will he be, does this mean Flip vd Merwe will replace him in the 2nd half – a bit odd to have a no. 4 lock come on for a no. 5 lock? Am guessing we’ll see Duanne Vermeulen subbed at some point in the game with Coetzee moving to eighthman and Louw coming on at no 6 flank. In the backs, which one of Pienaar and Hougaard will play the whole game, will Pienaar play right through or be subbed with Hougaard coming in from the wing and Mvovo going on at wing. Interesting to see Goosen and Lambie both on the bench, tells me there is some concern about Morne Steyn’s form, would have thought only one of them would be on the bench at this stage will be interesting to see how or if they are utilized.

  • 4

    2 @ LionJan4ever:
    Hello Lion4ever, interesting it seems you think Lambie will replace Kirchner at fullback and want Goosen to come on at flyhalf, am not a fan of playing players out of position but will it not be better to bring Lambie on at flyhalf and Goosen at fullback, that way you’re not throwing Goosen as much in the deep end?

  • 5

    OK, I’m much happier….

    The only changes I would have made would have been to swap Lambie & Kirchner, so that Lambie would have started at fullback and Zane would have gone to the bench.

    Duane Vermeulen has had 2 games in the Currie Cup, after coming back from his long injury, but at least he’s had another almost 2 weeks with the Bokke now, so he should be OK (not ideally match fit but OK).

    With Johan Goosen on the bench it seems he won’t just be thrown into the deep end either, so that’s OK’ish too…

    The Loosies picked now have much better balance as a combination, the right candidates are on the bench and Ruan Pienaar should spark things at scrummie, Hougie is better suited at wing. Andries Bekker has finally been replaced…. all seems good!

    Now they must just NOT KICK good ball away and value the breakdowns to their full potential!

    Gooooooooooo Bokke!

  • 6

    from planet rugby
    Dear Mr Badger

    Please help. How do I convince my coach to give me some game time? We’ve played two big games this year and EVERYONE got a chance, except me. All the pundits reckon I’ve got loads of skills, especially on attack, but all I’m good for is keeping the bench warm while this Sideshow Bob look-a-like starts. I think it’s because I’m too exciting. We’re supposed to be bucks (that’s what our team is called) but all this coach cares about is buffalos. The other day I did a side step in training and he shouted: “Hey, what’s that blerrie flash stuff? Run straight, boet. Either smash the oke, or kick it. Actually, never mind. Just kick it.” I’m starting to get the feeling I’m like a fish out of water in this team. Like a big fish, maybe even a Shark. When will the sacrificial lamb be given a chance?

    P.L, Durban via Mendoza

    The Badger says…: Wow, that sounds tough. But you shouldn’t be surprised, son. I think the first mistake you made was pitching up at the first day of training in that black and white tracksuit. I know coaches are supposed to be colourblind, but have you considered wearing a blue shirt every now and then? Dreadlocks are back in fashion too, but only if you want to play full-back. If you want to play to play fly-half do not, I repeat, do NOT, attack the gain-line with ball in hand, that’ll just upset him even more. When in doubt, just hoof it as high as you can, then it becomes someone else’s problem. If all else fails, maybe try buying him a gift. I hear you can get Steve Hofmeyer CDs for a steal these days. Just remember, “‘n blou bul tjank nie by die pale nie.”

  • 7

    sou met flou alberts en duanne begin het

  • 8

    7 @ smal jan planne:
    Flo is in die begin van sy Noordelike Halfrond seisoen, met net EEN volle Noordelike Halfrond game onder die blad (afgelope Saterdag) PLUS hy het paar dae laat by die Bokke aangesluit (en 3 oefendae gemis laas week waar die Bokke in SA voorberei het), derhalwe dink ek Marcell Coetzee se keuse om te begin is reg en gepas…. maar Flo sou ook kon doen, ek het nie ‘n probleem met hom as speler nie.

    Ek dink Marcell Coetzee was een van die beter Bokke in die afgelope 5 Toetse… so ek is happy met sy keuse.

  • 9

    @ grootblousmile:
    Die ding is net ek dink ons skiet ons half in die voet sonder n fetcher op die veld

  • 10

    @ JanMurrayBok:
    Lambie has not done much at 10 this season, and when he has played there for the Sharks, he was not so sharp. If I was HM, I would let him replace Kirchner after about 50 minutes. I have not seen Goosen play at 15, so would not bring him on there. I would much rather let him get his chance against Aus. If the game is open, it will give chance to express himself, and he is the one FH in SA that is comfortable with both the kicking game and the running game, so he will mix it up nicely.

  • 11

    9 @ smallies:
    Ja, jy’s reg!

    Maar Coetzee se spelpatroon is darem naby aan ‘n “fetcher” en Flo is ook maar nie regtig ‘n “genuine fetcher” nie, hy is so ‘n “hybrid fetcher”….. so dis seker maar ses van die een en ‘n halfdosyn van die ander.

    Wat ons help is dat Pocock nie daar is nie, so die Wallabies makeer ook ‘n uit-en-uit fetcher.

  • 12

    bly oor hougaard op vleuel,ek dink hy kan n legendariese vleuel word in die klas van shane williams

  • 13

    OK, sien julle later, my hare moet waai, dit dryf my na drank en slegte goed.

  • 14

    @ grootblousmile:
    100% agree with you. I may also have swopped Lambie and Zane, I’ve been saying this for sometime now, but Zane hasn’t done too much wrong so I cannot complain.

    I may have dropped Coetzee in favour of Flo, but for the same reasons you state in a further post I’m happy to start with Marcel and have Flo on the bench.

    More important as you say is what we do with the ball. That will be the telling factor.

  • 15

    What is all this shit about planning substitutions at 50mins and 35mins and 27mins?
    Surely if the player is playing well then you leave him on the field? If he isn’t, or he is getting tired then you bring him off.

  • 16

    @ Loosehead:
    Yes indeed, one of the big errors that some coaches make is that they have a specific substitution plan that is rigidly adhered to regardless of the on-field playing conditions. In the past we’ve actually stuffed up momentum by doing this badly. There’s no reason that most, if not all the players cannot play 80 minutes.

    I know the theory is to kick on, but I believe that only works when you have a genuine impact player like, say, a Bismark would be (if he wasn’t starting). Schalk Britz. One of the best impact players to play in SA in my opinion is Bob Skinstadt. Better as an impact player than an 80 minute player for the Boks IMO.

    Otherwise only substitute if he’s playing badly or tactics require a change (or injury of course)

  • 17

    Wow, a better side i must say.
    I think like you all, i am as well interested to see how Goosen fits in and where?
    He really needs to play in #10 postion. I understand start him of slowly but throwing him anywhere else really could disrupt the guy even more.
    No matter where he plays, the Ozzies will attack that position.

  • 18

    16 @ BobbejanklimdiebergStormersboySpringbokJan:
    If he is not good enough to start, then he should be on the bench.
    This predetermined mindset is what is wrong with SA rugby.
    Here is the gameplan, forwards moer it up, backs kick every fukken ball away or crash into the tackler. Then start all over again, even when it doesn’t work. Then replace the guys playing well, with guys from the bench just because it is in the gameplan.

  • 19

    16 @ BobbejanklimdiebergStormersboySpringbokJan:
    Naas Botha, once said, “Fresh legs, frozen brains!”

    That was his rendition of bringing on needless subs, just because you have them on the bench.

    Replacements might be physically fresh at that stage, but at the same time not nearly IN the game momentum, as experienced by those performing on the actual pitch.

    So I also think that a rigid replacement plan is not only daft, but also senseless.

    One needs to make substitutions to ALLEVIATE SHORTCOMINGS or boost ATTACKING MOMENTUM or REPLACE AN INJURED PLAYER and / or if the game is in the bag already, to introduce players wisely to afford them needed game time in order to be ready for future matches.

  • 20

    17 @ Hurricane:
    Hello Hurricane.

    In general I never subscribe to playing anyone out of position, unless you have no other option available, therefore could not agree more with you regarding Goosen…. he is a No 10!

    In the same vein, I believe Patrick Lambie to be a better fullback than a flyhalf (No 10), where he has done duty for the Springboks so well during the World Cup last year.

    I also still think Goosen is shy on match fittness, having recently come off an extended injury situation, and would only risk bringing him on once the game is in the bag for the Bokke…. if the game is ever in the bag well before time ends. Senseless bringing a player on for only 3 or 5 or 7 or 10 minutes, unless injury necessitates that eventuality.

  • 21

    @ grootblousmile: Ja that was one of the main criticisms that I had of Pieter De Villiers (Other than he played players into the ground like AC does). We lost more than a few tests under his charge by losing those last 15 – 20 minutes, for this precise reason.

    Hopefully HM will do better in this regard.

  • 22

    @ grootblousmile:
    Hi Grootblousmile
    Of course, forgot Goosen is coming back from an injury.
    I am actually quite excited to see this guy get in there. So i can imagine how some of you all just cant wait.
    If played and managed correctly , this guy will be one of the best.

  • 23

    I’m going to say something that many will find controversial, but hear me out.

    I have yet to be convinced that Johan Goosen is as good as the hype makes him out to be.

    I know that he is a very accurate goal kicker with a long range boot as well, and that already makes him good in my book.

    I have yet to see him do anything consistently amazing with the ball in hand.

    Yes he has scored tries for the Cheetahs but so has Willie Le Roux and Rob Ebersohn, and no one is rushing them into the Springbok team yet (although both are good). The Cheetahs play the type of open rugby that will by it’s very nature give opportunities to anyone with ball in hand to have a good run.

    I haven’t seen him create anything really positive from 1st phase possession, which Elton does in my opinion.

    Yes, some will say that he is still developing and will get better and better and no doubt this will happen, BUT I still am only 80% of the way there. I would have spent more time giving Elton more opportunities at 10 to see what he’s made of at the top level. I think HM is missing a trick there. he’s not much older than Johan, and has more experience. I’d like to see what he can do behind a better pack with more structure.

    I do think Johan is good, don’t get me wrong but I’m surprised at all the hype and future predictions.

  • 24

    22 @ Hurricane:
    He sure is a talented prospect, young Johan Goosen!

    I’m worried about him being injury prone though (not saying he is yet), he managed to injure one shoulder in Super Rugby, was out for a couple of weeks… then injured the other shoulder and as we all know was out for months.

    I believe questions have to be raised about youngsters gymming too early in life, causing nice muscle definition but “WEAK” muscle development in a lot of cases… Can name quite a number of recent examples worldwide, including in SA, Australia and New Zealand.

    Hope I am dead wrong about Goosen’s injury prone situation…. he could be a devastating weapon on attack and to posts!

  • 25

    Be interesting to see what HM does with Lambie and Goosen, It really is time Lambie got some game time, so I think he may come on second half. Goosen I think may be used in one of two situations, if the Boks have the game safely in the bag, he should come on for the last 10-15 minutes just to get a run. Conversely if the Boks are getting hammered (hope to hell not) he may throw Goosen in the deep end, kind of ‘what the hell, cant get worse, maybe this guy can save us’ type attitude. Realistically I dont see that happening, not against the Aussies, so I reckon he will get 10-15 minutes at the end. Of course also depends on how MS goes.
    Not that anyone gives a Sh*t, but this is my more accurate name, I got tired of all the cat and katte stuff, I dont even like the damn animals, the cat stuff comes from a high school nickname. Happy

  • 27

    interesting team, looks better balanced than the Mendoza Mob. Would love to have seen Lambie Starting at full back, but other than that, Go Bokke

  • 28

    So what are the feelings, think the Boks will take this one, tight game or what? One thing I do know, if we cant beat the Aussies we have very little chance against the ABs. With my dismal Bru predictions in CC, maybe I should pick the Aussies to win, that way the Boks are certain to win. It worked last week, when I wanted WP to win so I picked the Bulls, and sure enough WP won.
    As you all say, ‘Go Bokke’

  • 30

    @ BobbejanklimdiebergStormersboySpringbokJan:
    All one has to do and watch the games he has played for the Cheetahs. He seems to lift them when he is on the field. Take him off through injury or substitution and the Cheetahs drop a few notches in execution and confidence. He may not seem exciting, but he does have more time to execute than most flyhalves, and seems to have a cool head.

    Like GBS, I am a bit worried about him being injury prone.

  • 31

    @ LionJan4ever:
    Hes played well for the Cheetahs theres no denying that. Also he does seem a bit “brittle” too, and I have enjoyed watching him quite closely, searching for what it is that gives him that potential “x” factor that everyone thinks he has, and I haven’t seen anything apart from very solid, dependable play. I’d go so far as to say that the Cheetahs would have reacted the same way to Morne Steyn playing in the 10 jersey. Now that’s not taking anything away from Morne, but you get my point I hope.

  • 32

    @ BobbejanklimdiebergStormersboySpringbokJan:
    He is not a flash player, but does have a killer boot. All the top flyhalves seem to have that extra second to execute, but very rarely look spectacular. Look at the Carters and Wilkinson’s of this world. They don’t seem to do anything outrageous, but what they do, they do very, very well.

  • 33

    @ LionJan4ever:
    dodelike skopvoet kan dropkick va 65m skop goeie verdediging het n vieslike manier om line breaks te maak stuur sy agterlyn seepglad weg en die belangrikste van als, hy het ure tyd op die bal

  • 34

    Sounds like this braai the Boks and Wallabies had yesterday was a huge success and a brilliant PR exercise. Anyone have any more info on it?

  • 35

    @ BobbejanklimdiebergStormersboySpringbokJan:
    I agree 100% with you regarding the premature hype of Johan G.

  • 36

    @ superbokspringJan:
    Great so it’s not just me. Was beginning to think I was mad.

  • 37

    BobbejanklimdiebergStormersboySpringbokJan wrote:

    Was beginning to think I was mad.

    Some here must really think i am madder than mad

    Remember i always rated Zane, …. now i see some support for him


    I never thought much off JdeV and wonder what went wrong with HM in appointing him as Captain, i called it buckling under pressure…


    took me ages to believe in Frans Steyn and is fast losing the new found respect of him, he is blunt lately…

    agh well

    You must realize i compare the players sharpness, impact and whoow factor with players from NZ and Aus.
    The Cory Janes, the Isreal Daggs , the Will Genia types.
    So maybe i am just a mad dreamer.

  • 38

    @ smallies:

    100%,ek stem!

    Presies dieselfde vir GBS en Kickers gese op Kleinbaai drie maande gelede, toe ons saam na die 2e Engelse toets gekyk het.
    Hougie op vleuel is n ‘game breaker’ a la Shane Williams, Philip Burger,Bryan Habana, Deon Oosthuizen, Grant Batty, Euan Evans, Bernie Fazer…..almal scrummies gewees wat vleuel toe geskuif het.
    Voeg daarby Michelak en Para (Fankryk), Piri Wepu (NZ), en Ruan Pienaar, scrummies wat losskakel speel.
    Daar was n Austin scrummie vir Engeland, wat ook later vleuel toe is, selfs Joost het een toets daar gespeel!!!

    Watch vir Hougie Saterdag!!!!

  • 39

    @ Piet-Springbok-Jan:
    Austin Healy Eng.), val my nou by.


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