The pressure is on

The Springboks will be under the microscope on Saturday, but none more so than debutants Pierre Spies and Akona Ndungane.

Spies and Ndungane, the latest to emerge from the Blue Bulls factory, have been thrown in the deep end and White will hope they can provide the same impact they have shown at Super 14 and U21 level.

White has resisted change for so long, but on Saturday – after a bunch of injuries and public pressure – he hands two players their Springbok caps. It is the first time two players have made their debuts in the same match under White since the match in East London against Uruguay last year.

On that day Tonderai Chavhanga and Ricky Januarie made their Test debuts, with Chavhanga scoring an astonishing six tries in his only test to date.

“The arrival of four new players in our midst gives us the opportunity to work out various combinations, as we build up towards the Rugby World Cup,” White said in his column.

“With different players and their various strengths the choice of who to play against which team is the dream of any coach. The four new players, JP Petersen, Akona Ndungane, Chiliboy Ralepelle and Pierre Spies are exciting individuals who add much value to the squad.”

White is particularly pleased with how the new players have adapted to the rigours of international rugby.

“They have slotted in well with our way of doing things. They are professional young players who know what is expected of them. The public response to the presence of Ndungane and Spies in our team for Saturday has been encouraging.”