Five changes in 12-Bok South Africa 'A' team for Bristol
There are five changes to the SA ‘A’ team that will face Bristol Bears following their shock loss to Munster in Cork last week.
South Africa ‘A’ head coach Mzwandile Stick has added Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu and Marco van Staden to a team that includes 12 Springboks.
Gianni Lombard takes over from Aphelele Fassi, who suffered an ankle injury in the team’s 28-14 defeat to Munster.
“It was always our intention to give everyone in the squad game time on this tour to assess our player resources and see what the players have to offer at this level,” said Stick. “This week we will hand a few different players starting berths as the demands are different on players from the starting team and the bench.
“This is a very talented group of players and they have had a little more time to gel in the last few days after having very little time together before the Munster game, and we are confident that this will show when they take the field against Bristol.
“One of the changes was obviously injury-enforced with Aphelele ruled out, and this offered us an opportunity give Sacha some game time after watching from the sidelines in the last two Bok Test matches. He has really impressed the Springbok coaching staff at training with his skills and enthusiasm and we saw what he produced for the Junior Springboks and DHL Stormers, so we are excited to see him playing flyhalf in this match.
“Joseph, meanwhile, is on standby for the Springboks depending on the injury status in their camp and this sees Andre-Hugo earn a start at hooker and JJ get a run off the bench.
“Bristol are coached by Pat Lam and with his New Zealand background, he enjoys skillful running rugby, so we are expecting the pace of this game to be faster,” said Stick. “From our perspective, we also have exciting backs and mobile forwards, and they certainly have the ability to keep up with this and make their presence felt.”
South Africa ‘A’ team to face Bristol:
15 – Gianni Lombard (Emirates Lions)
14 – Suleiman Hartzenberg (DHL Stormers)
13 – Henco van Wyk (Emirates Lions)
12 – Cornal Hendricks* (Vodacom Bulls)
11 – Leolin Zas (DHL Stormers)
10 – Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu (DHL Stormers)
9 – Grant Williams* (Cell C Sharks)
8 – Jean-Luc du Preez* (Sale Sharks)
7 – Elrigh Louw* (Vodacom Bulls)
6 – Marco van Staden* (Vodacom Bulls)
5 – Ruan Nortje* (Vodacom Bulls)
4 – Jason Jenkins* (Leinster)
3 – Thomas du Toit* (captain, Cell C Sharks)
2 – Andre-Hugo Venter (DHL Stormers)
1 – Ntuthuko Mchunu* (Cell C Sharks)
16 – JJ Kotze (DHL Stormers)
17 – Simphiwe Matanzima (Vodacom Bulls)
18 – Mornay Smith (Vodacom Bulls)
19 – Dan du Preez* (Sale Sharks)
20 – Sikhumbuzo Notshe* (Cell C Sharks)
21 – Phepsi Buthelezi (Cell C Sharks)
22 – Sanele Nohamba (Emirates Lions)
23 – Johan Goosen* (Vodacom Bulls)
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