Baby Boks to fry French

SA U21 coach Peter de Villiers has picked his strongest side to play hosts France in Issoire on Saturday.

“I am confident that the best team has been selected to play against France,” said de Villiers. “They are really a strong outfit and have won both of their matches comprehensively.”

The team shows five changes to the starting line-up that thrashed the Georgians 102-17 in round two of the IRB World Championship.

A wholesale change has been made in the front row, with Heinke van der Merwe, captain Chiliboy Ralepele and Sangoni Mxoli all making a return.

Bulls Super 14 flanker Pierre Spies starts at No 8 in place of Ashley Johnson, while vice-captain Marius Delport is back on the left wing.

De Villiers’s side have been impressive in the first two games, but the real test will be on Saturday when they play one of the tournament’s best sides.

“They are a proud nation and on home soil even prouder. We are also a very proud team and nation. We have prepared well and look forward to the challenge.”

“We are well aware that only a win will guarantee us a spot in the semis. We will do our best to make our country proud’, said captain Chiliboy Ralepelle.

Kick-off is at 18.00 and the match will be broadcast live on SuperSport.

SA U21: 15 Scott Spedding, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Waylon Murray, 12 Brad Barritt, 11 Marius Delport, 10 Isma-eel Dollie, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Pierre Spies, 7 Hilton Lobberts, 6 Keegan Daniel, 5 Wilheim Steenkamp, 4 Nikolai Blignaut, 3 Sangoni Mxoli, 2 Chiliboy Ralepele, 1 Heinke van der Merwe.
Subs: 16 Bandise Maku, 17 Werner Kruger, 18, Alistair Hargreaves, 19 Adriaan Strauss, 20 Warren Malgas, 21 Morgan Newman, 22 Cedric Mkhize