Gary Teichmann starts at No 8 and captains my #Springboks #DreamTeam XV. England and British & Irish Lions lock Martin Johnson starts at No 4 and captains my #World XV. But which Super Subs complement the respective starting XVs?
For purposes of my selections, I have gone with a starting XV for each side and an eight-strong reserves bench that is a unit in itself.
I haven’t picked the player I would have necessarily ranked as the next best in each position. I have looked at the impact each player would make when introduced as a substitute, each player’s versatility and the damage they could do against tired legs, fatigued minds and a fractured defence in the last 30 minutes of a match. Each player also has the quality and capacity to be introduced within a minute of kick-off. Whether they start or are used as impact players, they’d be equally good.
With the Springboks subs bench, I have borrowed from 2019 World Cup-winning coach Rassie Erasmus and picked six forwards and two backs. South Africa has the versatility in players to make this possible. I felt the World XV I selected would be strongest with a traditional five forwards and three backs split.
- Schalk Brits is my hooker. His explosiveness is unrivalled among Springbok hookers and he just shades Malcolm Marx.
- Tendai Mtawarira edges Steve Kitshoff as my loosehead specialist. Both could easily be starting options, but for the name Os du Randt. Both offer huge impact as ball runners as well as a powerful set piece game.
- CJ van der Linde provides cover at tighthead and loosehead prop and he could even scrum at hooker if needed. He is also a very explosive ball runner.
- Danie Rossouw is comfortable to slot in at No 4 & No 5 lock, blindside flank and No 8.
- Pieter-Steph du Toit is my option playing No 5 lock and blindside flank. He could also cover No 4 lock.
- This was my toughest Super Sub selection. I wanted to include another loose-forward, who could either also slot into the tight five or be a wing option because of pace. My options were Pierre Spies (6, 7, 8 and also wing), Juan Smith (6,7,8 and lock), Bob Skinstad (7, 8 and midfield) and Joe van Niekerk (6, 7,8 and wing). All four players were outstanding in their international careers and all four were regular starting options. I have gone with Joe van Niekerk, whose raw energy, skill set and explosiveness just shades the other three.
- Ruan Pienaar’s brilliance in nearly every position allows for a six forward and two backs split. Pienaar is a specialist scrumhalf, who has also played Test rugby at No 10 and No 15. He also has played on the wing. Pienaar also provides goalkicking cover.
- Frans Steyn’s versatility is the equal of Pienaar. So is his quality. Steyn made his Test debut on the wing and has played fullback, flyhalf and in the midfield during his international career. He is also a goalkicking option.
My Springboks #Dream23 consists of 17 World Cup winners, with Du Randt and Steyn two-time champions.
My #Dream 23 selection includes two 1995 World Cup winners, four 2019 World Cup winners and 13 2007 World Cup winners. Du Randt and Steyn double up.
Mark Keohane’s Springboks #DreamTeam 23 (click on the name to be taken to the individual match ups)
*15. Percy Montgomery (102 Tests, 2007 World Cup winner & 1999 World Cup bronze)
*14. JP Pietersen (70 Tests, 2007 World Cup winner & 2015 World Cup bronze)
*13. Japie Mulder (34 Tests, 1995 World Cup winner)
12. Pieter Muller (33 Tests)
*11. Bryan Habana (124 Tests, 2007 World Cup winner & 2015 World Cup bronze)
10. Henry Honiball (35 Tests)
*9. Fourie du Preez (76 Tests, 2007 World Cup winner & 2015 World Cup bronze)
8. Gary Teichmann (42 Tests, captain)
*7. Schalk Burger (86 Tests, 2007 World Cup winner & 2015 World Cup bronze)
6. Andre Venter (66 Tests)
*5. Victor Matfield (127 Tests, 2007 World Cup winner & 2015 World Cup bronze)
*4. Bakkies Botha (85 Tests, 2007 World Cup winner)
3. Adrian Garvey (38 Tests)
*2. Bismarck du Plessis (79 Tests, 2007 World Cup winner & 2015 World Cup bronze)
**1. Os du Randt (80 Tests, 1995 & 2007 World Cup winner & 1999 World Cup bronze)
Super Subs bench
*16. Schalk Brits (15 Tests, Hooker, No 8): 2019 World Cup winner
*17. Tendai Mtawarira (117 Tests, Loosehead prop): 2019 World Cup winner & 2015 World Cup bronze
*18. CJ van der Linde (75 Tests, Loosehead & Tighthead prop): 2007 World Cup winner
*19. Danie Rossouw (63 Tests, No 4 & 5 lock, Blindside Loose-forward & No 8) 2007 World Cup winner
*20. Pieter-Stef du Toit (55 Tests, No 4 & No 5 lock, Blindside Loose-forward) 2019 World Cup winner
21. Joe van Niekerk (52 Tests, No 6 & No 7 Loose-forward, No 8 & Right & Left wing)
*22. Ruan Pienaar (88 Tests, No 9, 10, 11, 14 & 15 and goalkicker): 2007 World Cup winner & 2015 World Cup bronze
**23. Frans Steyn (67 Tests, No 10, 12, 13, 15 and goalkicker): 2007 & 2019 World Cup winner
*World Cup winners
**Two-time World Cup winners
When it comes to my #DreamTeam World XV, I have five New Zealanders, two English, two French, two Irish and one from Wales, Fiji, Italy and Australia, while the match 23 has nine Kiwis, four Irishmen, three French, two English and one player from Wales, Fiji, Italy, Australia and Samoa respectively.
Mark Keohane’s World #DreamTeam23 (click on Springbok players’ names to see individual match ups)
15. Christian Cullen (NZ, 58 Tests)
14. Rupeni Caucaunibuca (Fiji, 8 Tests)
13. Scott Gibbs (Wales/British & Irish Lions, 58 Tests)
** 12. Sonny Bill Williams (NZ, 58 Tests)
11. Jonah Lomu (NZ, 64 Tests)
** 10. Dan Carter (NZ, 112 Tests)
9. Conor Murray (Ireland, 86 Tests)
8. Sergio Parissi (Italy, 142 Tests)
** 7. Richie McCaw (NZ, 148 Tests)
6. Thierry Dusautoir (France, 80 Tests)
**5. John Eales (Aus, 86 Tests)
*4. Martin Johnson (Eng/British & Irish Lions, 92 Tests)
3. Pieter de Villiers (France, 69 Tests)
2. Keith Wood (Ireland/British & Irish Lions, 63 Tests)
*1. Jason Leonard (Eng/British & Irish Lions, 119 Tests)
Super Sub bench:
**16. Keven Mealamu (NZL, 132 Tests, who covers hooker)
17. Cian Healey (Ireland, 98 Tests, who covers loosehead prop)
18. Census Johnston (Samoa/Pacific Islands, 60 Tests, who covers tighthead prop)
*19. Brodie Retallick (NZL, 81 Tests, who covers lock)
*20. Zinzan Brooke (NZ, 58 Tests, who covers 6,7 & 8)
21. Fabian Galthie (France, 64 Tests, who covers No 9)
22. Brian O’Driscoll (Ireland/British & Irish Lions, 141 Tests, who covers 12 &13)
*23. Beauden Barrett (NZ, 83 Tests, who covers 10, 12, 11,14 & 15 and the goalkicking.