World XV not a Test

The Springboks match against the World XV at Ellis Park on 3 June will not be an official Test match, Saru announced on Thursday.

Despite giving out caps for a ‘Test’ against Uruguay last year, Saru has decided not to award caps against a far stronger World XV line-up. However the SA XV players, most of whom will be the established Springboks, will still play in the official Springbok jersey.

The match will serve as a challenging warm-up against the best players in the world. Players like Rafial Ibanez, Carlos Spencer, Thomas Castaignede, Justin Marshall, Owen Finegan and Bruce Reihana will run out for the World XV and will be coached by well-known international coach Bob Dwyer.

The World XV players, as well as Dwyer, will conduct several training clinics for schools and coaches in the week leading up to the game.

Springbok coach Jake White and national captain John Smit said they welcomed the challenge of playing against a selection of the best players in the world on home soil.

“The Boks face a tough and demanding 2006 season and in the past warm up matches were played against Tier 2 countries like Uruguay and Samoa. This time I want to try out new combinations and blood new players against the world’s best,� says Springbok coach Jake White.