Jake White and the national selectors’ response to all the supposed transformation pressure was to pick two black wingers in the starting XV for Saturday’s test against the All Blacks.
White has used transformation complications as an excuse in his team selections during the past season, but when he confirmed the starting XV to face the All Blacks the only black players were again the two wingers.
Just a week ago White told the public that Solly Tyibilika was the best openside flanker in the country (in Schalk Burger’s absence). Now Tyibilika has been axed from the match 22 and White has gone with ball-carrying flankers Pierre Spies and Pedrie Wannenburg, in tandem with AJ Venter as a No 8.
A year ago Venter was considered too slow to play No 8 at test level.
Ruan Pienaar has also not made the starting XV and he will have to be content with a second half introduction.
White has not included Percy Montgomery in his match 22, with the official line varying between Monty being rested and Monty being injured.
Jaque Fourie’s move to fullback splits up the most impressive aspect of the Boks against New Zealand, which was the midfield pairing of Fourie and Jean de Villiers. White has shifted Wynand Olivier to outside centre to accommodate Fourie at fullback. It is the first time Fourie will play fullback for the Boks, although it was the position he played when he made his first-class debut as a 19 year-old.
BJ Botha plays ahead of the injured CJ van der Linde and Lawrence Sephaka gets a reintroduction to bench duties. Eddie Andrews’s services are not required.
Breyton Paulse has been included on the bench along with Butch James and Andre Pretorius starts at flyhalf for the first time since the Boks win against Argentina in Buenos Aires.
Springboks (to play All Blacks): Jaque Fourie, Akona Ndungane, Wynand Olivier, Jean de Villiers, Bryan Habana, Andre Pretorius, Fourie du Preez, AJ Venter, Pierre Spies, Pedrie Wannenburg, Victor Matfield, Johann Muller, BJ Botha, John Smit (capt) and Os du Randt. Subs: Chiliboy Ralepelle, Lawrence Sephaka, Albert van den Berg, Jacques Cronje, Ruan Pienaar, Butch James and Breyton Paulse.