Former Springbok prop Cobus Visagie gets a gilt-edged chance to prove his credentials when the World XV clashes with the Boks on Saturday.
Visagie, the veteran of 29 Tests for South Africa, has stated that he dreams of returning to the green and gold and has been handed the No 3 jersey for the visitors. He will pack down against Deon Carstens and his performance will surely be closely monitored by Jake White and co.
Visagie’s last cap for the Boks came against Argentina in 2003 in Port Elizabeth. He failed to make Rudolf Straeuli’s World Cup squad that year. He left to play for Saracens in England and has not been part of White’s plans as yet.
The star-studded line-up includes former All Black halfback duo Justin Marshall – who will also captain the side – and the mercurial Carlos Spencer.
In total, five former All Blacks will start the match. Apart from Spencer and Marshall, wing Bruce Reihana, flank Xavier Rush and prop Dave Hewett are also in the run-on team.
Australia have just two representatives – Matt Burke at fullback and lock Radike Samo. Another former Wallaby, wing Joe Roff was dropped from the team that were thumped 46-19 by England at the weekend. His place went to Fijian and Auckland utility back Ica Nacewa.
Four Frenchman – centre Thomas Castaignede, No 8 Olivier Magne, flank Sebastian Chabal and hooker Raphael Ibanez – bring a strong European feel to the team which contains just two Englishmen. The relatively unknown Fraser Waters will partner Castaignede in midfield, while big things are expected of young lock Tom Palmer.
World XV v Springboks:
15 Matt Burke, 14 Bruce Reihana, 13 Thomas Castaignede, 12 Fraser Waters, 11 Ica Nacewa, 10 Carlos Spencer, 9 Justin Marshall (captain); 8 Olivier Magne, 7 Sebastian Chabal, 6 Xavier Rush, 5 Radike Samo, 4 Tom Palmer, 3 Cobus Visagie, 2 Raphael Ibanez, 1 Dave Hewett.
Replacements: 16 Mark Regan, 17 Christian Califano, 18 Julien Pierre, 19 Sam Harding, 20 Mark Robinson, 21 Ludovic Mercier, 22 Joe Roff.
By Andrew Hollely