Expect the unexpected
30 May 2006
World XV captain, Justin Marshall, has predicted an open, entertaining match against a Springbok XV at Ellis Park on Saturday.
The match will feature a host of international greats in the World XV team, who will be going all out to erase the 46-19 thumping at the hands of England at the weekend.
“Everybody can expect to be entertained,” said the former All Black scrumhalf. “Last week we overplayed our hand a little and the game plan fell apart.”
“On Saturday we will probably be more structured, but our aim is still to win and play well to give the fans something to shout about,” he said, shortly after the squad arrived at Johannesburg International Airport on Tuesday morning.
Coach Bob Dwyer – who led the Wallabies to World Cup glory in 1991 – said the lessons had been learnt and the Boks should not expect a walk in the park. “We are a lot better off now. Last week we crumbled under pressure and conceded four converted tries in the last quarter. We cannot afford for that to happen again.”
“We will maintain our combinations and focus on the basics,” he said. Dwyer said this team are aiming to become the first World XV to beat the Boks. On three previous occasions, South Africa has triumphed in all three.
In 1977, the Boks won 45-24 in Pretoria and in 1989 they won a two-match series 2-0 with victories at Newlands (20-19) and Ellis Park (22-16).
The World XV are nursing three injured players, but Dwyer said that he would have a full squad from which to select his starting XV for the match.
World XV squad:
Backs: Carlos Spencer (Northampton & New Zealand), Bruce Reihana (Northampton & New Zealand), Ludovic Mercier (Gloucester), Justin Marshall (Ospreys & New Zealand), Mark Robinson (Northampton & New Zealand), Matt Burke (Newcastle & New Zealand), Thomas Castaignede (Saracens & France), Fraser Waters (Wasps & England), Joe Roff (Kuboto & Australia), Isa Nacewa (Auckland Blues), Cedric Debrosse (Narbonne & France).
Forwards: Christian Califano (Gloucester & France), Dave Hewett (Edinburgh & New Zealand), Andrea Lo Cicero (L’Aquila & Italy), Radike Samo (Brumbies & Australia), Mark Regan (Bristo, & England), Raphael Ibanez (Wasps & France), Tom Palmer (Wasps & England), Cobus Visagie (Saracens & South Africa), Owen Finegan (Newcastle & Australia), Olivier Magne (London Irish & France), Sam Harding (Northampton), Xavier Rush Cardiff & New Zealand), Toutai Kefu (Kuboto & Australia), Sebastian Chabal (Sale & France), Julien Pierre (Bourgoin).
By Andrew Hollely