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Orie sheds his Itoje role to make first Test start for Springboks

By Chris Jones
PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA - JULY 02: Marvin Orie of South Africa catches the ball during the Rugby Union international match between South Africa and Georgia at Loftus Versfeld Stadium on July 02, 2021 in Pretoria, South Africa. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Lock Marvin Orie is being given the chance to make a name for himself in the South Africa second-row against Argentina in Saturday’s second Rugby Championship clash having spent the series against the British & Irish Lions impersonating England star Maro Itoje during training.

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In a bid to counter the impact of Itoje, who was voted the Lions Player of the Series, Springboks coach Jacques Nienaber handed Orie the role of replicating the kind of problems the Saracens lock would pose. Having successfully adopted that role, Orie now makes his first Test start and gets to pack down with Sale Sharks lock Lood de Jager, who wins his 50th cap, against a Pumas side that lost 32-12 in the first game last weekend.

The Springboks have made 17 changes to their match 23 with Eben Etzebeth given a break after his heroics during the Lions series and against the Pumas pack. Orie’s four Test caps have come off the bench but Nienaber said the player deserved a starting run.

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Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber explains the implications of the strict COVID requirements in Australasia

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Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber explains the implications of the strict COVID requirements in Australasia

“Marvin has been part of the squad for a while. I must say, when I heard it was his first Test start, I was quite surprised because I remember him being part of the World Cup mix, building up in the Rugby Championship in 2019. Obviously he missed out on going to the World Cup. So he has been in and around our team environment for a while,” said Nienaber.

“He has been training really well. He has been energetic. In the British & Irish Lions series, he was Maro Itoje for us. He studied him, his mannerisms and how he calls lineouts. Marvin was phenomenal in preparing the team in the Lions series.”

There’s also a potential Springbok debut for Montpellier lock Nicolaas Janse van Rensburg, who has been named on a bench featuring a six-two split between forwards and backs.”Nicolaas has been part of us since we got together in Bloemfontein. So he is pretty much clued up with our systems. I am looking forward to seeing him perform on the weekend.”

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Tim 5 hours ago
'It’s a mental thing': Joe Schmidt on the Wallabies' flyhalf issues

Ben Donaldson had not played Super Rugby for the past eight weeks. Surely, he was playing Shute Shield for Randwick in that time to keep up the fitness…?? Eight weeks is a long break to be thrust in against a hungry skillful side like Georgia who deserve to be in the “7 Nations”. (Italy, Wales & Scotland v Georgia, can’t wait to see those ones). In the second test against Wales, Donaldson was put on for nine minutes. That was a mistake from the coaching team, who already knew he was starting the following week against Georgia. They should have put him on for 20-25 minutes, with Nick Whyte at halfback, and their combination from the Force would have flowed. Donaldsons first 20 minutes against Georgia was a shocker. However, well done to Joe Schmidt for keeping him out there because Donaldsons game improved as the rust came off, he was hammered a few times and handled it and he came into his groove. He made mistakes which they will all learn from. Ben Donaldson is a naturally talented rugby player who the Wallabies have to stick with at no.10. “Over the black Dot-aldson” is a good nick name for him with his awesome goal kicking style. It looks as though, off the boot, it’s going to hit the post. Then it just curves in beautifully every time, once he is in the groove. Donaldsons play this season for the Force, with Kurtley and co., was amazing to watch. Kurtley making one of the best comebacks in history. Donaldson has to be played consistently with Flash Gordon, Big LEN, McReight, Tupou, Kellaway. Oh, that’s right, there is Bell, Kerevi, Petaia (This list does go on a bit). Donaldson will be slotting these weapons into gaps, and into the clear, before we know it… One more thing which I will just assume is happening, just include JOC in the Wallabies squad. He is a rugby genius. His skills, wisdom and experience would be infectious around the Wallabies relatively inexperienced backline. JOC has mastered the art of all the positions long ago. JOC is so skilled and match fit atm taking THE REDS, at no.10, within a point of beating Wales. He can come off the bench and slot into the backline for the Wallabies at 10, 12, 13 or 15 at any stage of a test match. Ummm yeah, not bad… I am assuming that BIG JOE, Laurie “Gandalf” Fischer, Mike “The scrum Doctor” Cron and the team obviously already know all this. I am just a passionate rugby union supporter, and I am very happy that these guys are in charge of the coaching duties, what a coaching team the Wallabies have been blessed with. (Good luck with selecting the match day 23 when Will Skelton, who was playing amazing rugby for La Rochelle, and the boys return from Europe/Japan, Samu Kerevi…???) Now just imagine having Bernie Larkham, Toutai Kefu, Nathan Grey and John “Nobody” Eales as your coaching apprentices… GO AUSTRALIAN RUGBY… Doing a great job Phil Waugh, Joe Roff, Dan Herbert and the team. An amazing three years ahead. GO THE WALLABIES… GO THE WALLAROOS… GO THE 7’s in Paris…

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