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Juan de Jongh and Victor Matfield start for Springboks

INTERNATIONAL TEST - WALES v SOUTH AFRICA
Venue: Millennium Stadium Date: Saturday, 5 June Kick-off: 1430 BST
Coverage: Exclusively live on BBC TWO Wales & online, full commentary on BBC Radio Wales and BBC Radio Cymru & online, score updates on BBC Radio 5 Live and BBC Sport website


Juan de Jongh will win his first South Africa cap against Wales
Juan de Jongh will win his first South Africa cap against Wales

South Africa have been forced into two changes in their starting line-up for Saturday's clash with Wales in Cardiff.

Juan de Jongh will win his first cap after replacing Butch James at centre.

The Bath player was withdrawn after a complaint from Premier Rugby that the game falls outside the International Rugby Board's official Test window.

Victor Matfield, a late call-up from South Africa, is at lock for the injured Andries Bekker, while Zane Kirchner is added to the bench.

Kirchner and his Bulls captain Matfield arrived in Wales on Thursday to join up with the Springboks squad.

Both had been left behind to rest after playing in last weekend's Super 14 final against South Africa rivals the Stormers.

But Bekker's injury and the situation with James - the only player in the South Africa squad who plays for a team in the English Guinness Premiership - saw Kirchner and Matfield summoned to Cardiff.

De Jongh, along with open-side flanker Dewald Potgieter, were also injury concerns but have overcome their knocks to face Wales at the Millennium Stadium.

The South African Rugby Union had hoped to secure James' release by virtue of clauses in his contract, but their request was rejected by Premier Rugby, the umbrella organisation for England's Premiership clubs.

The ruling has upset Saru, whose president Oregan Hoskins was left further infuriated after Saracens' South African hooker Schalk Brits was allowed by his club to play for the Barbarians against Ireland this weekend.

This is a great opportunity for Juan de Jongh, who has had a fantastic Super 14 season

South Africa coach Peter de Villiers

"SARU, Bath and Butch were all keen to see Butch play but the rule has been strictly enforced," Hoskins said.

"What's particularly frustrating is that Schalk Brits has just played 33 matches for Saracens and can be released to play for the Barbarians against Ireland this weekend, whereas Butch has played barely a dozen matches this season and he can't play against Wales."

Coach Peter de Villiers has opted to leave the likes of Schalk Burger and Bryan Habana at home, giving Francois Steyn (Racing Metro), Joe van Niekerk (Toulon) and props CJ van der Linde (Leinster) and BJ Botha (Ulster) a chance to press claims for places at the 2011 World Cup.

De Jongh is one of three international debutants and will form an all-Stormers centre pairing with Jaque Fourie.

"This is almost unbelievable, but it's an exciting moment for me too," said De Jongh, who was originally named on the bench.

"I feel for Butch, but I must now focus on what the team needs from me on Saturday.

"It's good to be playing with experienced players like Ruan [Pienaar] and Jaque and my experience playing with Jaque in the Super 14 will also be a great help."

Two other Stormers - wing Gio Aplon and blind-side flanker Francois Louw - will also win their first caps, as will replacements Alistair Hargreaves and Bjorn Basson if they come off the bench in the Millennium Stadium.

Scrum-half Ricky Januarie, who spent three months with Welsh region the Ospreys this season, also starts.

Ulster-bound Ruan Pienaar of the Sharks partners Januarie, now back with the Stormers, at half-back.

De Villiers says moulding a new team is his big challenge this week, ahead of the rest of a southern hemisphere Test season that includes clashes with France, Italy and the Tri-Nations.

"It's going to be very tough. You don't flick a switch and then you've got a team," De Villiers said.

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"What we do know is that the guys do have a lot of experience, but experience alone is not enough to get a team on the field.

"Now that's the toughest challenge for us being here, is to mould the talent that we do have into a competitive team.

"This is a great opportunity for Juan, who has had a fantastic Super 14 season.

"He is a talented player who has held his own in a very tough environment and I have faith in his abilities to make the step up."

Wales travel to New Zealand for a two-Test tour after the 5 June clash and attack coach Rob Howley - a 1997 British and Irish Lions tourist to South Africa - says the Springboks have picked players who want to prove a point to De Villiers.

"They have recalled some extremely experienced players from their overseas contingent and those players will be relishing the opportunity to pull on that green and gold jersey again and, in a World Cup year, they will have something to prove to their coaches," stated Howley."

"If we could come away with a result against this Springbok side it would have real meaning for us and set us up for our tour of New Zealand.

"We keep repeating that we want to test ourselves against the best world rugby has to offer, and there is no doubting that we will be doing just that on 5 June and thereafter."


South Africa: Frans Steyn (Racing Metro); Gio Aplon (Stormers), Jaque Fourie (Stormers), Juan de Jongh (Stormers), Odwa Ndungane (Sharks); Ruan Pienaar (Sharks), Ricky Januarie (Stormers); CJ van der Linde (Leinster), John Smit (Sharks, capt), BJ Botha (Ulster), Danie Rossouw (Bulls), Victor Matfield (Bulls), Francois Louw (Stormers), Dewald Potgieter (Bulls), Joe van Niekerk (Toulon). Replacements: Chiliboy Ralepelle (Bulls), Jannie du Plessis (Sharks), Alistair Hargreaves (Sharks), Ryan Kankowski (Sharks), Meyer Bosman (Cheetahs), Zane Kirchner (Bulls), Bjorn Basson (Cheetahs).



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see also
Wales suffer Powell injury blow
03 Jun 10 |  Welsh
James withdrawn from Wales Test
02 Jun 10 |  Welsh
Wales need Hook magic - Gatland
01 Jun 10 |  Welsh
Mitchell in for injured Jenkins
27 May 10 |  Welsh
Wales suffer Jenkins injury blow
26 May 10 |  Welsh
Hore injury blow for New Zealand
15 May 10 |  Welsh
Wales excited by new-boy Knoyle
17 May 10 |  Welsh
Powell back for Wales' June Tests
16 May 10 |  Welsh
Mighty Boks: South African rugby
01 Oct 08 |  Rugby Union
All Blacks magic: New Zealand rugby
21 Oct 08 |  Rugby Union
Country profile: South Africa
21 Jun 11 |  Country profiles
Country profile: New Zealand
28 Nov 11 |  Country profiles
Wales' rugby fixtures
26 Jun 07 |  Welsh
Wales rugby results archive
15 Oct 03 |  Welsh
BBC Sport Wales coverage
03 Oct 11 |  Wales


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