L'Afrique du Sud se renouvelle pour jouer la Roumanie

Par Kim Ekin
Damian Willemse's talent is undeniable but there are doubts as to whether No 10 is his most effective position (Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images)

Vainqueurs du choc de la première journée dans le groupe B face à l’Écosse (18-3), les Sud-Africains, champions du monde en titre, ont totalement changé leur équipe ou presque pour leur 2e match de poule face à la Roumanie.

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Parmi les titulaires, seul Damian Willemse conserve une place, passant toutefois de l’arrière à l’ouverture. Il sera associé à la charnière avec Cobus Reinach pour la première fois à ce niveau.

Makazole Mapimpi débutera à l’aile pour la 39e fois de sa carrière internationale. Il rejoindra ainsi Pieter Rossouw à la cinquième place du classement des ailiers sud-africains comptant le plus de titularisations à ce poste.

Vincent Koch va connaître sa première titularisation avec les Springboks depuis le match de poule contre le Canada à la Coupe du Monde de Rugby 2019. Depuis ce match, le pilier droit était systématiquement entré en cours de jeu lors de 28 test-matchs.

Moodie et son partenaire au centre, Andre Esterhuizen, s’apprêtent à faire leurs débuts en Coupe du Monde de Rugby, de même que le deuxième ligne Marvin Orie, qui formera l’attelage avec Jean Kelyn en l’absence d’Eben Etzebeth.

Dean Fourie, qui évolue habituellement en troisième ligne, sera la doublure de Bongi Mbonambi au talon. S’il entre en jeu, il effectuera ses débuts en Coupe du Monde de Rugby, tout comme le demi de mêlée remplaçant Jaden Hendrikse.

Fourie, qui a joué talonneur avec les U-19 sud-africains, est devenu le joueur le plus âgé à connaître sa première sélection avec les Springboks lors de la défaite 13-12 contre le pays de Galles en juillet 2022, à trois mois de son 36e anniversaire.

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XV de départ

1 Ox Nche
2 Mbongeni Mbonambi (c)
3 Vincent Koch
4 Jean Kleyn
5 Marvin Orie
6 Marco van Staden
7 Kwagga Smith
8 Duane Vermeulen
9 Cobus Reinach
10 Damian Willemse
11 Makazole Mapimpi
12 Andre Esterhuizen
13 Canan Moodie
14 Grant Williams
15 Willie Le Roux

Remplaçants

16 Deon Fourie
17 Steven Kitshoff
18 Trevor Nyakane
19 RG Snyman
20 Jasper Wiese
21 Jaden Hendrikse
22 Faf de Klerk
23 Jesse Kriel

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Jon 23 hours ago
Why Sam Cane's path to retirement is perfect for him and the All Blacks

> It would be best described as an elegant solution to what was potentially going to be a significant problem for new All Blacks coach Scott Robertson. It is a problem the mad population of New Zealand will have to cope with more and more as All Blacks are able to continue their careers in NZ post RWCs. It will not be a problem for coaches, who are always going to start a campaign with the captain for the next WC in mind. > Cane, despite his warrior spirit, his undoubted commitment to every team he played for and unforgettable heroics against Ireland in last year’s World Cup quarter-final, was never unanimously admired or respected within New Zealand while he was in the role. Neither was McCaw, he was considered far too passive a captain and then out of form until his last world cup where everyone opinions changed, just like they would have if Cane had won the WC. > It was never easy to see where Cane, or even if, he would fit into Robertson’s squad given the new coach will want to be building a new-look team with 2027 in mind. > Cane will win his selections on merit and come the end of the year, he’ll sign off, he hopes, with 100 caps and maybe even, at last, universal public appreciation for what was a special career. No, he won’t. Those returning from Japan have already earned the right to retain their jersey, it’s in their contract. Cane would have been playing against England if he was ready, and found it very hard to keep his place. Perform, and they keep it however. Very easy to see where Cane could have fit, very hard to see how he could have accomplished it choosing this year as his sabbatical instead of 2025, and that’s how it played out (though I assume we now know what when NZR said they were allowing him to move his sabbatical forward and return to NZ next year, they had actually agreed to simply select him for the All Blacks from overseas, without any chance he was going to play in NZ again). With a mammoth season of 15 All Black games they might as well get some value out of his years contract, though even with him being of equal character to Richie, I don’t think they should guarantee him his 100 caps. That’s not what the All Blacks should be about. He absolutely has to play winning football.

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