Tweak announces 10 Anniversary tour dates

Tweak, South Africa’s favourite band from the late 90’s to the mid-Naughties, kick off their once-off 10 anniversary tour in August with a series of shows across Johannesburg and Cape Town. The band recently reformed for a once off single, ‘The A-Team’, which got extensive play listing across radio stations in South Africa. The members of Tweak went their separate ways in 2005 and Garth and Brendan Barnes went on to put together the hugely successful rock band, CrashCarBurn. Tweak had a number of smash hits such as ‘House Party’ and ‘Birthday Card’ and have, for the first time ever, released their catalogue of albums on iTunes.

  • Saturday 8 August 2015, 19h00 – Oppikippi (James Phillips Stage)
  • Thursday 13 August 2015, 21h00 – Grid and Grill, Benoni
  • Friday 14 August 2015, 21h00 – Rumours Lounge, Weltevreden Park, Johannesburg
  • Saturday 15 August 2015, 21h00 – Arcade Empire, Pretoria
  • Friday 21 August 2015, 21h00 – Aandklas, Stellenbosch
  • Saturday 22 August 2015, 21h00 – The Assembly, Cape Town

Tweak Q&A

Guys, what exactly is going on here?

Well, it’s been ten years since Tweak last performed as a band in 2005. What better reason for a couple of old ballies to get back together and re-live their teenage years? So we phoned up Oppikoppi and asked if they would be keen to have us play if we actually went ahead with it and they said ‘sure let’s do it’! Well if we’re gonna do this thing, we might as well do it properly and release a new single: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sq30gp0GnOc

So is Tweak back for good?

Nope, this is one-off deal. Don’t expect to see Tweak jamming every Thursday at the Dros from here on out. Who knows, maybe we’ll do it again in another 10 years but for now, it’s just the handful of shows in August.

So it’s a reunion?

Not quite, Bugs, Chris and Garth from the original lineup will be doing the shows. We’re calling it an ‘Anniversary tour’.

What does this mean for CrashCarBurn?

CrashCarBurn is still going strong! In fact we’re busy working on an album and should have a new single out in the next month. On that note, can I just say thanks to the other CrashCarBurn guys @etienne and @Jaco for indulging us as we take this little detour. They have been super supportive and are pretty much the raddest dudes anyone could ever wish to be in a band with!

Is Oppikoppi the only show?

Nope, we’re doing a bit of a tour after that. Chris is flying out from London so we are looking to do as many shows as we can while he is here. So far we have Cape Town, Joburg and Pretoria confirmed. Keep an eye on our Facebook for more details soon: https://www.facebook.com/TweakSA

Do you hate hipsters and Dj’s?

Hahahaha! No come now, we don’t hate anybody. Sure we make fun of them in the song, but we also make fun of ourselves! Some of my best friends are Hipsters and Dj’s…I am even friends with a Hipster-Dj! Anyone who takes this track seriously needs their head checked.

What Songs are you going to play live?

Well that is still to be decided…Definitely ‘Birthday Card’, ‘Buy the World’, and ‘House Party’…then we’ll probably leave the rest of the set list up to a Facebook vote!

iTunes links:
The A-Team:
https://itunes.apple.com/za/album/a-team-single/id994710211

The Romantic Lure of Possum Worship:
https://itunes.apple.com/za/album/romantic-lure-possum-worship/id999568512

Dirty Sanchez and the Misfit Kidz:

https://itunes.apple.com/za/album/dirty-sanchez-misfit-kidz/id999567562

For media interviews, contact Tim Hill, Tuned In Publicity on tim.

-ends-

The Cape Town Fashion Council takes designers to Pure London

The Cape Town Fashion Council is proud to announce that it will be venturing on a trade mission to the Pure apparel trade show in London, taking place from 2 to 4 August 2015. Twenty curated designers have been selected to participate in what is described as the UK’s [most] dynamic fashion and footwear gathering, where over 600 exclusive premium brands, emerging designers and market-leading labels reveal their anticipated Spring/Summer ‘16 collections.

CTFC CEO Bryan Ramkilawan said, ‘There is a stronger need for designers to engage with buyers at trade fair platforms if we intend entering the European market.’

Watch this space for more information.

Cape Town Fashion Council's photo.

Du Plessis and Louw out, but Springboks turn injury corner

Du Plessis and Louw out, but Springboks turn injury corner

South Africa will be without Jannie du Plessis and Francois Louw when they face Argentina in Durban next Saturday, but the Springboks could have Jean de Villiers, Fourie du Preez and Willem Alberts back while at this stage their medical team is optimistic of delivering a fully fit squad to the selectors for the Rugby World Cup, it was announced on Tuesday.

De Villiers, Du Preez and Alberts are three of seven players whose fitness will be assessed on Monday as they complete the final phase of rehabilitation while players such as Duane Vermeulen and Coenie Oosthuizen are progressing well with their rehabilitation.

Although Du Plessis (knee) and Louw (rotator cuff), along with Victor Matfield and JP Pietersen (both hamstring injuries) will miss both Tests against the Pumas, none of these injuries will put their RWC participation at risk. Saturday’s other injury victims, Vincent Koch and Warren Whiteley (rib cartilages) should be fit and available for selection next weekend.

Jan Serfontein (hip and knee), Marcell Coetzee (knee), Pieter-Steph du Toit (knee) and Steven Kitshoff (knee) will also be assessed on Monday with a view to being available to selection against the Pumas.

Frans Steyn is recovering well from a pectoral muscle injury and could be ready to play Argentina in Buenos Aires. Frans Malherbe has a bone bruise in the hip, which he picked up in the Brisbane Test. He will consult a specialist in Cape Town and will also be re-assessed next week in Durban.

“All of these players have worked hard during their rehabilitation and although we still have to put them through a final assessment on Monday after we’ve re-assembled in Durban, I’m hopeful that they should be fit to face Argentina in at least one of the two forthcoming Tests,” said Springbok team doctor Craig Roberts.

“We’re continuing to work very hard with Duane and Coenie and at this stage it’s looking very likely that we will have a full complement of players available for selection when the final squad for the Rugby World Cup is named at the end of August.”

Meyer said that the national selectors may have to consider possible cover at tight head if Koch and Malherbe are both ruled out of the Tests against Argentina.

“We’ll have a look at Vincent and Frans in Durban and if they are not fit, we may have to bring someone in,” said Meyer.

“It’s wonderful to see a number of players returning from injury and all of them will be considered if they are passed fit by our medical team.

“I’m also very glad Pieter-Steph is back. He was in the selection frame last week but after consultation between our medical team and that of the Cell C Sharks, we decided to stick to the original plan regarding his return to play, which is that he will turn out for his province in an Absa Currie Cup warm-up match on Friday.

“While it’s never ideal to lose experienced players to injury, it provides others with opportunities. We wanted to mix things up a bit in the two Tests against Argentina and the next players in line will now have to show they can perform at the highest level before we finalise the Rugby World Cup squad.”

Issued by SARU Corporate Affairs

Springboks learn another cruel lesson in their 27-20 defeat to the All Blacks

27 JULY 2015 – Hardly putting a foot wrong, the Springboks learned another cruel lesson in their 27-20 defeat to the All Blacks in their Castle Lager Rugby Championship clash in Johannesburg on Saturday.

Statistics taken for the Vodacom Rugby App demonstrate exactly how South Africa had the upper hand before New Zealand snatched the victory.

Enjoying most of the possession and the territory while dominating other key facets of the game, the Boks could not close out the game.

The hosts had 52 percent of the possession and 51 percent of the territory but the All Blacks once again demonstrated that it’s the team that makes the best of their chances that takes the spoils.

South Africa took to the field with a positive attitude which was reflected by the 17 carries they made more than New Zealand, beating 28 defenders compared to the 19 by the visitors.

Leading his country’s charge on attack, Springbok flyhalf Handre Pollard led the Defenders beaten category with his seven.

Bok inside centre Damian de Allende also featured prominently on the rankings making two clean breaks.

He also topped the Carries department along with South African captain Schalk Burger and New Zealand flyer Charles Piutau with 14 apiece.

De Allende and his midfield partner Jesse Kriel made 11 carries each along with Bok lock Lood de Jager and Argentina’s Tomias Lavanini.

Topping the Clean breaks category, Willie le Roux made four with New Zealand’s Ben Smith and Argentina’s Gonzalo Camacho tied in second place with three each, while De Allende got the better of two defenders along with Australia’s Israel Folau.

Le Roux and Jesse Kriel also cracked top-five in the Metres Run category covering 78 metres and 76 metres with the ball in hand.

Marking his return to the Bok team for the first time in four years, Heinrich Brussow made a valuable contribution against the All Blacks.

He was the only South African to make it into the top-five in the Tackles category with the 14 he executed along with New Zealand’s Dane Coles, while Australia’s David Pocock topped the category with 18.

Brussow and Pocock won the most turnovers in their respective matches winning three each with their nearest competitors winning one apiece.

Castle Lager Rugby Championship stats:

Metres run:

1. Santiago Cordero (Arg) – 106

2. Charles Piutau (NZ) – 102

3. Israel Folau (Aus) – 93

4. Willie le Roux (RSA) – 78

5. Jesse Kriel (RSA) – 76

Clean breaks:

1. Willie le Roux (RSA) – 4

2. Ben Smith (NZ) – 3

3. Gonzalo Camacho (Arg) – 3

4. Damian de Allende (RSA) – 2

5. Israel Folau (Aus) – 2

Carries:

1. Charles Piutau (NZ) – 14

Handre Pollard (RSA) – 14

Schalk Burger (RSA) – 14

2. Facundo Isa (Arg) – 12

Santiago Cordero (Arg) – 12

3. Damian de Allende (Arg) – 11

Jesse Kriel (RSA) – 11

Lood de Jager (RSA) – 11

Tomias Lavanini (Arg) – 11

Defenders beaten:

1. Handre Pollard (RSA) – 7

Santiago Cordero (Arg) – 7

2. Charles Piutau (NZ) – 6

3. Damian de Allende (RSA) – 6

4. Israel Folau (Aus) – 6

5. Dane Coles (NZ) – 5

Tackles:

1. David Pocock (Aus) – 18

2. Kieran Read (NZ) – 16

3. Richie McCaw (NZ) – 16

4. Dane Coles (NZ) – 14

5. Heinrich Brussow (RSA) – 14

Turnovers won:

1. David Pocock (Aus) – 3

Heinrich Brussow (RSA) – 3

2. Aaron Smith (NZ) – 1

Augustin Creevy (Arg) – 1

Bismarck du Plessis (RSA) – 1

Charles Piutau (NZ) – 1

Dane Coles (NZ) – 1

South Africa v New Zealand Stats:

1. Clean Breaks: 10-7

2. Carries: 125-108

3. Defenders Beaten: 28-19

4. Passes: 158-141

5. Possession: 52%-48%

6. Territory: 51%-49%

Lima Sopoaga just made things a whole lot more interesting as New Zealand’s first five eighth cup runneth over in Johannesburg.

Suddenly All Blacks coach Steve Hansen now has four legitimate options in the most pivotal position in the game and that’s with Aaron Cruden out injured.

As good as Sopoaga was, the selectors are likely to want to see more than one test before rushing to conclusions. But it would be surprising if they were not keen to have another look at the 24-year-old in some capacity during the two remaining tests against Australia.

Even Hansen probably didn’t expect Sopoaga to play quite as well as he did on debut at Ellis Park, but this has been a season where the Highlanders first five eighth has made anything possible.

His performance against South Africa was impressive on several fronts, but what stood out most was his self-confidence – that was evident 20 seconds into his test debut as he lined up a kick to touch from a penalty.

Ben Smith and Lima Sopoaga at post match press conference -pic Martin Myers

Standing beside Sopoaga were captain Richie McCaw and senior loosie Liam Messam who had both looked up and seen space out wide. They clearly suggested it might be worth pursuing and their young first five eighth didn’t hesitate. He tapped and went, and passed wide to Ma’a Nonu.

A minute later Sopoaga calmly slotted a long range penalty and with his second touch in test rugby confidently took on the Springboks line from inside his own 22.

It was the same sort of assured decisiveness that he displayed in the Highlanders’ run to the Super Rugby title. Sopoaga wasn’t afraid to try things, a left foot grubber didn’t go to plan but he was unfazed by the hiccups.

The All Blacks were up against it at halftime, however, their playmaker came out after the break and kicked a perfect restart, which was won by Kieran Read. He missed two penalties, threw a wide pass meant for wing Charles Piutau into the front row of the stands, but didn’t blink – landing two crucial goals down the stretch.

Sopoaga is playing with the confidence Beauden Barrett had before a troublesome knee injury slowed his progress late in the Hurricanes’ season. Hansen is spoilt for choice and his conundrum raises some intriguing questions about the final make of of the All Blacks World Cup squad.

Is Sopoaga good enough to play in a knockout match at the World Cup? Evidence this year suggests the answer is yes. If Sopoaga did make the World Cup squad, would there be room for Colin Slade and Barrett Possibly.

What is certain is some very good backs will miss the cut. Specialist fullback Israel Dagg took a step back from his effort against Argentina in Johannesburg, while veteran wing Cory Jane’s not helped by injury.

It’d be surprising if the selectors were not still weighing the option of tossing the No 15 jersey to someone else to at least investigate contingency plan during the next two tests.

Ben Smith, Slade and Barrett are all options. And what about Nehe Milner-Skudder, who seems to have become the forgotten member of the 41-man squad?

Here’s a line of thought about the first five eighths. Carter is still top dog. Nobody else manages the game like he does. Barrett is too good to leave out. His pace and x-factor are hard to ignore. And Slade’s versatility appeals on the bench.

Could Hansen’s final four outside backs end up being Ben Smith, Julian Savea, Charles Piutau and Colin Slade? If they did, then the All Blacks might end up with four world class first five eighth’s at the World Cup.

– Stuff

OPINION: The All Blacks 27-20 win over the Springboks at Ellis Park was a bruising encounter, here’s how the Kiwis shaped up in Johannesburg.

PLAYER RATINGS – ALL BLACKS

Israel Dagg 5

Some nice half moments, but his timing was off. Is not backing his pace to hit the back line, so arriving too early. Hospital pass to Kieran Read led to Willie Le Roux’s try. Not to the level of his effort against Argentina.

Ben Smith 7

Quiet by his standards, but did all that was asked including scoring a crucial try before halftime. Error free and defensively sound.

Conrad Smith 6

Defensively sound and busy around the field up to the final whistle, but no individual highlights, a knock on close to the Springboks line and overshasdowed by opposite Jesse Kriel.

Ma’a Nonu 6

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Didn’t really get into the game with ball in hand and didn’t see Jesse Kriel coming when he sliced through for his try. Nice inside pass to Sopoaga sucked in Schalk Burger and set up Ben Smith’s try.

Charles Piutau 9

Outstanding all round performance. Big defensive plays included ripping the ball from Jesse Kriel, a diving tackle on Willie Le Roux, and tidying up a dangerous chip kick. Constant danger in attack with a big work rate.

Lima Sopoaga 8

Accomplished debut. Showed confidence from the opening whistle. Kicked some pressure goals, was brave defensively, and directed play as well as an electric break to set up Ben Smith’s try.

Aaron Smith 6

A difficult day considering the pack didn’t recycle much ball through the first half, but not his usual polished self with a couple of ropey kicks. Courageously gathered Habana’s chip kick and got a bloodied face for his troubles.

Kieran Read 8

Big work rate. Efficient ball carrier all day and made some desperate and important tackles including a 58th minute try saver on Schalk Burger.

Liam Messam 6

Got through plenty of defensive work, but wasn’t a factor with ball in hand or at the breakdown where he was needed.

Richie McCaw 9

What can you say. Huge work rate in defence and attack, brilliantly taken try when he shot through from a lineout and inspired captaincy. His chase and tackle provided impetus for Ben Smith’s try.

James Broadhurst 5

Went backwards with his first carry and was held up late in the first half. Seemed to struggle aerobically with the altitude and pace of the test. Looked to be adjusting before halftime, but was subbed for Sam Whitelock.

Brodie Retallick 6.5

Quiet first half, but came into his own after halftime when the All Blacks had more momentum. Some big tackles and plenty of grunt down the stretch.

Owen Franks 6

Showed plenty of intent around the park in defence and scrummed solidly.

Dane Coles 8.5

Must have topped the tackle count and scored an incredible try after somehow emerging from a scrum then moments later running off a short pass from Malakai Fekitoa.

Tony Woodcock 5

Set piece work solid enough, but lacked impact around the park. Penalised for not rolling then turned over in contact within minutes late in the first half.

RESERVES

Sam Whitelock 6 (40′ for James Broadhurst)

At least half a mark off for being sinbinned. Had three carries within 30 seconds when he came on and added necessary niggle against the physical Boks pack

Malakai Fekitoa 7 (46′ for Ma’a Nonu)

A little inaccurate on defence, but full of energy, an electric 50 metre break from the ruck and a great pop pass with his first touch to put Coles in for his try.

Wyatt Crockett 6.5 (49′ for Tony Woodcock)

Added plenty of energy in defence and got around the park effectively.

Beauden Barrett 5 (51′ for Israel Dagg)

Didn’t do anything wrong, but also didn’t do much from fullback. Hardly spotted aside from one nice probe on the short side.

Victor Vito 6.5 (56′ for Liam Messam)

Strong in defence holding up the Boks runners, stole a vital lineout in the 63rd minute and a nice off load out wide late in the piece.

Ben Franks 5 (56′ for Owen Franks)

Got a working over from the Beast before scrums went to golden oldies.

Codie Taylor 6.5 (62′ for Dane Coles)

Good energy and a pinpoint throw for McCaw’s well rehearsed lineout try.

TJ Perenara 6.5 (64′ for Aaron Smith)

Good organisational skills, vocal and clear when the test was on the line. Bodes well for a player who might need to close out big tests at the World Cup.

– Stuff

Ellis Park – All Backs and Springbok matches are physically and mentally brutal.

As the All Blacks’ leg muscles tighten and their oxygen-deprived lungs rasp an unhealthy tune, Steve Hansen may take extra care to scrutinise his players’ faces Sunday morning (NZT).

Many New Zealanders know what to expect when their All Blacks meet the Springboks – injury-ravaged or otherwise – in Johannesburg because history reveals matches between the two sides at Ellis Park are physically and mentally brutal.

Of the 13 matches played at Ellis Park since 1928, the All Blacks have won just four.

The All Blacks pride themselves on their superior physical conditioning and coach Hansen, who will back his bench to drive down the hammer in the final 20 minutes, will hope his side’s fitness helps them survive playing at 1753 metres above sea level and in front of 61,000 hostile fans.

So when the players’ bodies are swamped with lactic acid, and the dark spots are dancing in front of their eyes, Hansen may look at his players’ faces to assess who possesses the will to force themselves to the point of exhaustion.

With the World Cup less than two months away, anyone who shows signs of succumbing to the physical trauma could pay a heavy price and Hansen will expect his boys to follow Richie McCaw’s example of pushing himself into what he terms “dark places”.

Hooker Dane Coles, who appeared in the last two epic encounters at Ellis Park last year and in 2013, recounted his test experiences at the ground.

“The first time when I played a test match, I only played half a game and I absolutely just couldn’t breathe,” Coles said.

“You get sticky in your mouth because it is so dry and the physicality – you feel you like you have been run over by a couple of buses at the end of a test match.

“You have got to be prepared to take it right to the limit.”

That is exactly what Hansen will expect from his players. Even though there is a good chance of rain, the weather forecast is for thunderstorms, that doesn’t mean the intensity levels will be lowered. It will still be physical and the collisions will be fierce.

Both sides will be forced to pluck a different game-plan off the menu if the ball is slippery, and if the Springboks elect for the cat-and-mouse strategy then it will suit them fine; Handre Pollard directing the ball into the corners, lots of lineouts, scrums and mauls.

The Boks may have lost a tier of frontline players with injury but any side with Beast Mtawarira, the du Plessis brothers, Eben Etzebeth and Schalk Burger deserves to be eyed with respect.

What an occasion this is for debutants James Broadhurst and Lima Sopoaga. In the past the idea of rotating an All Blacks side for a test against the Boks at Ellis Park would have been bonkers, but nowadays the World Cup obsession dominates everything.

Just as Springboks coach Heyneke Meyer has dabbled with his selections, Hansen has been prepared to see how Broadhurst and Sopoaga cope with the most daunting of introductions to the test arena.

First five-eighth Sopoaga has looked confident at training this week. He proved during the Super Rugby final he is calm customer and if he sees a counter-attacking chance he won’t take the conservative option.

What if Sopoaga has a blinder, kicks all his goals and takes himself into those “dark places”? It would really create a conundrum when it comes to selecting the first-fives for the World Cup.

That is exactly what Hansen wants.

stuff.co.nz

All Black Ma’a Nonu wary of Springboks’ midfield ahead of Ellis Park test

All Blacks No 12 Ma’a Nonu is expecting a stiff challenge from the raw Springboks midfield duo.

Ma’a Nonu isn’t listening to any chatter about the inexperienced Springboks midfield being easily fractured.

Nonu, who partners-up with Conrad Smith in the All Blacks’ midfield at Ellis Park on Saturday, is preparing for his last match on South African soil.

After the World Cup Nonu will link with French club Toulon but with the likes of Sonny Bill Williams challenging for the No 12 jersey, his immediate priority is to anchor a place in the All Blacks’ starting side ahead of the global tournament.

The vastly experienced Nonu and Smith will face a raw Springboks midfield in Damian de Allende and Jesse Kriel at Ellis Park.

When it was put to Nonu that de Allende’s defensive technique, which one statistic provider has reported has resulted in him missing 30 tackles in Super Rugby, was suspect he lodged a counterclaim.

“That’s a surprising stat because I have seen him tackle,” Nonu said. “When we (the Hurricanes) played the Stormers this year we did a lot of analysis around the No 12 and he was the main ball carrier.

“I don’t agree with that stat. Hence why he is playing for South Africa at No 12. We better measure up and be prepared.”

While Nonu and Smith have played 180 tests, de Allende and Kriel have earned just five caps.

This will also be Smith’s final game in the Republic. It is also his first test appearance this year, having been rested from the opening matches against Samoa and Argentina.

Williams, like playmaker Dan Carter, was told to rest rather than fly to South Africa after forming a physically intimidating 12-13 partnership with Nonu in the 39-18 win over Argentina last weekend.

Nonu started at centre against the Pumas, and after some early handling errors he scored a fine individual try by bursting through four defenders.

The Springboks, who lost another player when experienced right wing JP Pietersen withdrew with a hamstring complaint this week, will again field Handre Pollard, 21, at first five-eighth.

Coach Heyneke Meyer will be hoping Pollard can forge a partnership with de Allende, 23, and Kriel, 21.

Nonu said the All Blacks can do all the analysis they want on the Springboks, but it was crucial they immediately react when confronted with the unexpected.

“We never assume stuff. There is so much analysis we can do on a team but players really react on their instincts.

“We can look at all the clips of how their backline is going to play but from nine to 15 they are pretty dangerous.”

Asked what was the toughest midfield he had encountered in his 95-test career, Nonu nominated Jean de Villiers and Jaque Fourie.

“I remember vividly in 2009 when we played the South Africans in Durban and Bloemfontein and we lost those matches.

“We played them again in the third test in Hamilton (and lost) and that’s the pair I remember being the toughest I have come up against.”

stuff.co.nz

Lima Sopoaga and James Broadhurst will make their test debuts against the Springboks in Johannesburg on Sat

First five-eighth Sopoaga and lock Broadhurst are the only two newcomers in an All Blacks side that still doesn’t include left wing Julian Savea because Steve Hansen wants him to improve his fitness before unleashing him against the Wallabies.

Sopoaga, 24, will travel to Ellis Park in the knowledge he is surrounded by familiar faces; halfback Aaron Smith plays with him at the Highlanders and Sopoaga was a team-mate of Ma’a Nonu and Conrad Smith when he lived in Wellington.

ANDREW CORNAGA/PHOTOSPORT
Aaron Smith and Lima Sopoaga embrace in celebration after winning the Super Rugby title for the Highlanders.

“He’s someone we are comfortable with and confident he can run the cutter and be the driver we need him to be,” All Blacks coach Hansen said in reference to Sopoaga, who plays his provincial rugby with Southland.

“He plays up in the line, he is flat and he challenges the opposition. He has done that all season with the Highlanders. That’s all we expect him to do, just bring that form to this team and look after his role.”

Broadhurst, 27, will contest the lineouts against a Springboks pack missing aerial ace Victor Matfield, but with plenty of height in Lood de Jager and Eben Etzebeth.

“He’s had a pretty good season and it is a step-up physically – he is probably not going to get too many more bigger challenges from a physical point of view,” Hansen said.

“So he’s got to be right in the heart of it. The tight five is where test matches are won.”

A total of eight positional changes have been made to the side that started in the 39-18 victory over Argentina in Christchurch last Friday, with fullback Israel Dagg and left wing Charles Piutau the only men to keep their positions in the backline.

Ben Smith, who hasn’t played since co-captaining the Highlanders to victory over the Hurricanes in the Super Rugby final, has been named on the right wing – a vacancy left by the injured Waisake Naholo – to allow Dagg to make his third consecutive test start at the back.

Ma’a Nonu shuffles to his preferred No 12 role, which was filled by Sonny Bill Williams last week, so Hurricanes team-mate Conrad Smith can run at centre. Sopoaga replaces Dan Carter, who like Williams has been left at home.

Liam Messam gets an opportunity at blindside flanker in the absence of Jerome Kaino, who isn’t required for the match-day 23. Broadhurst replaces Sam Whitelock and Dane Coles will make his first start of the year to give hooker Keven Mealamu a break.

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen said the plan was always to play Sopoaga at No 10 against the Springboks. Beauden Barrett, who has yet to represent the All Blacks this year, has been listed on the bench ahead of Colin Slade.

With just three matches left to give all 41 members of his squad an opportunity to play their way into the 31-man World Cup squad, Hansen and his selectors have had to put their trust in the uncapped players.

“A lot of thought went into it and once again it’s a juggling act isn’t it? You have to have the right amount of experience, but you also have got to find out if the young people in your group can cope with the pressure,” Hansen said.

“There’s no bigger game than this one. Ellis Park is a tough place to play and you will find out a lot about our athletes.”

AT A GLANCE

All Blacks: Israel Dagg, Ben Smith, Conrad Smith, Ma’a Nonu, Charles Piutau, Lima Sopoaga, Aaron Smith, Kieran Read, Richie McCaw (captain), Liam Messam, Brodie Retallick, James Broadhurst, Owen Franks, Dane Coles, Tony Woodcock. Reserves: Codie Taylor, Wyatt Crockett, Ben Franks, Sam Whitelock, Victor Vito, TJ Perenara, Beauden Barrett, Malakai Fekitoa.stuff.co.nz

Eight changes and Heinrich Brüssow back for Springboks against New Zealand

The Springbok team to face New Zealand for the 90th time shows eight changes to the match-23 to that which did duty against Australia for the second match in the condensed Castle Lager Rugby Championship at Emirates Airline Park in Johannesburg on Saturday.

Heinrich Brüssow will make his first start for the Springboks since the 2011 Rugby World Cup, while Vincent Koch has been included on the bench for what could be his Test debut for South Africa.

Of the eight changes, three are to the pack and five are on the bench. The backline is unchanged. Schalk Burger will captain the team from No 8.

Francois Louw will start in the number seven jersey for the injured Marcell Coetzee in a positional change, with Brüssow assuming the openside role. The only other change to the starting line-up is at lock, where Lood de Jager takes over from Victor Matfield.

On the bench, Koch will be joined by Cornal Hendricks, Trevor Nyakane, Flip van der Merwe and Warren Whiteley, who could make his first Test appearance in South Africa, in front of his home crowd in Johannesburg.

“Injuries have forced our hand a bit, but we’ve stuck with our planned rotational policy on the bench and it will be great to see what Heinrich, Vincent and Flip can do,” said Meyer.

“The breakdown battle will again be huge and it will be good to see Heinrich and Francois play together. They are versatile players and I am convinced they will combine perfectly.

“Heinrich has been great this season before he got injured and played his way into contention. As with other players returning from injury in Vodacom Super Rugby, he deserves an opportunity. We decided it was better to start with him and use Warren as an impact player later in the match.

“It’s also great to see Flip back in the fold. We had a look at Pieter-Steph du Toit but he is not yet 100% match-ready, and Franco Mostert was also discussed but in the end we decided to go with Flip as he will add valuable experience to our bench.

“We planned to bring Trevor, Warren and Cornal back for this match. Trevor and Warren have been playing great rugby this season and Cornal is a superb finisher, as he’s shown so often last year.”

Meyer said that the Springboks faced a huge challenge on Saturday as they continue to build towards the Rugby World Cup against a fired-up Kiwi side.

“This will be a massive Test – every match against the All Blacks is,” said Meyer.

“We played some great rugby last weekend, but this week we have to put in an 80-minute effort. We have to be especially focused in the last 10 minutes, because New Zealand always finish strongly. They travelled here with us so that negates any advantage we could’ve had at the end of the match.

“The challenge will also be to make a step up in vital areas of the game and get back on the winning track. By not making too many changes this week, we’re giving some combinations the opportunity to settle a bit more. Our youngsters will have to put up their hands on Saturday – I would not have selected them if I didn’t believe they can do the job.”

The Springbok team to face New Zealand in Johannesburg is:

Position Name Franchise / Club Test Caps Test points
15 Willie le Roux Toyota Cheetahs 26 35
14 JP Pietersen Cell C Sharks 60 90
13 Jesse Kriel Vodacom Bulls 1 5
12 Damian de Allende DHL Stormers 4 0
11 Bryan Habana Toulon 107 285
10 Handré Pollard Vodacom Bulls 10 75
9 Ruan Pienaar (vice-captain) Ulster 81 135
8 Schalk Burger (captain) DHL Stormers 76 70
7 Francois Louw Bath 35 25
6 Heinrich Brüssow Toyota Cheetahs 20 5
5 Lood de Jager Toyota Cheetahs 10 10
4 Eben Etzebeth DHL Stormers 34 5
3 Jannie du Plessis Cell C Sharks 63 5
2 Bismarck du Plessis Cell C Sharks 71 45
1 Tendai Mtawarira Cell C Sharks 65 10
Replacements:
16 Adriaan Strauss Vodacom Bulls 45 25
17 Trevor Nyakane Vodacom Bulls 12 5
18 Vincent Koch DHL Stormers 0 0
19 Flip van der Merwe Vodacom Bulls 35 5
20 Warren Whiteley Emirates Lions 2 0
21 Cobus Reinach Cell C Sharks 7 10
22 Pat Lambie Cell C Sharks 41 106
23 Cornal Hendricks Toyota Cheetahs 11 25

Stats and facts:

· The Springbok starting team boasts a total of 663 Test caps (289 in the backline and 374 in the forwards), while there are a further 153 caps worth of experience on the bench.

· South Africa and New Zealand have played each other 89 times since 1921, with the Springboks winning 35, losing 51 and three were drawn. The Springboks have scored 1,392 points and 137 tries and conceded 1,718 points and 177 tries for an average score of 16-19.

· South Africa and New Zealand last met on 4 October 2015 at Emirates Airline Park in Johannesburg. The Springboks beat New Zealand by 27-25 thanks to a late 55 metre penalty from the boot of replacement flyhalf Patrick Lambie.

· Schalk Burger will become South Africa’s 55th Springbok captain in history.

· Bryan Habana will extend his own record as the most-capped Springbok wing, with 106 caps in this position. If he scores a try he will extend his own record of 57 Test tries for South Africa as well as most Test tries against New Zealand (7) and the Castle Lager Rugby Championship record of 18 tries.

· If he scores a try, Bismarck du Plessis will extend his record of nine Test tries for South Africa as a hooker. He will also extend his SA record of 40 Tests (22 in the starting line-up) with his brother Jannie and 17 Tests with Jannie and Tendai Mtawarira as the starting front row pairing for SA.

· If he goes on, Vincent Koch will become Springbok #868 in history.

· It will be Heyneke Meyer’s 39th Test in charge of the Springboks since he took over in 2012. Of the previous 38 Tests South Africa have won 26, lost ten and drew twice. He is third now on the all-time list with only Peter de Villiers (48) and Jake White (54) in front of him.

· The referee is Jerome Garces of France. It will be his fifth Test involving South Africa. Of the previous four South Africa have won three and lost one. His last appearance was in November 2014 against Italy in Padova when the Boks won 22-6.

· Springbok Test match records at Emirates Airline Park (Ellis Park) in Johannesburg:

o Most points: 28 by Gavin Johnson (3t, 5c,1p) against Samoa on 13 April, 1995
o Most tries: 4 by Chester Williams against Samoa on 10 June, 1995 and by Jongi Nokwe against Australia on 30 August, 2008
o Most conversions: 9 by Butch James against Argentina on 9 August, 2008
o Most penalty goals: 6 by Percy Montgomery against France on 16 June, 2001 and by Louis Koen against Scotland on 14 June, 2003
o Most drop goals: 2 by Joel Stransky against New Zealand on 24 June, 1995 and by Jannie de Beer against New Zealand on 19 July, 1997

Issued by SARU Corporate Affairs

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