Leinster’s Zane Kirchner named in most experienced Springbok side ever for World Cup opener
Leinster’s Zane Kirchner named in most experienced Springbok side ever for World Cup opener

Leinster’s Zane Kirchner named in most experienced Springbok side ever for World Cup opener

ZANE KIRCHNER AND Ruan Pienaar have both been named in Heyneke Meyer’s starting XV to face Japan in their opening World Cup game on Saturday.

The Pool B sides meet for the first time ever at the Brighton Community Stadium, and Meyer has named the most experienced South African side ever for the game, with the 880 caps on display dwarfing the previous record of 838, which was set in the 2011 World Cup quarter-final against Australia.

Leinster’s Zane Kirchner continues at full-back in the absence of Willie le Roux who is not risked in his return from injury. As usual, Ulster’s Ruan Pienaar is named at scrum-half, with Pat Lambie selected over Handre Pollard outside him.

In the centre, Meyer has recalled Jean de Villiers after he recovered form a fractured jaw in the Rugby Championship defeat to Argentina last month, while outside him the exciting Jesse Kriel wins his fifth Springbok cap.

Bryan Habana starts on the right wing in his third World Cup campaign, while the left wing is filled by Lwazi Mvovo of the Sharks, with JP Pieterson on the bench.

It’s a first-choice front-row for South Africa as Biamarck du Plessis is joined by his brother Jannie at tighthead and “The Beast” Tendai Mtawarira at loosehead.

Eben Etzebeth is rested in the second-row, with Lood de Jager joining Victor Matfield, who is playing in his fourth World Cup.

Duane Vermuelen isn’t risked at number eight, with Schalk Burger starting at the back of the scrum after filling in during the Rugby Championship, while he’s flanked either side by Francois Louw and Willem Alberts.

Springbok head coach Heyneke Meyer said that while he was keen not to make too many changes to the side that won in their last test match four weeks ago.

“It’s great to see Jean, Francois, Lood, Jannie, Coenie, Fourie and JP back in action, and while we probably could’ve played Duane Vermeulen and Eben Etzebeth, in the end we decided to give them another week to fully recover from their injuries.

South Africa (v Japan)

15. Zane Kirchner

14. Bryan Habana

13. Jesse Kriel

12. Jean de Villiers (c)

11. Lwazi Mvovo

10. Pat Lambie

9. Ruan Pienaar


1. Tendai Mtawarira

2. Bismarck du Plessis

3. Jannie du Plessis

4. Lood de Jager

5. Victor Matfield

6. Francois Louw

7. Willem Alberts

8. Schalk Burger


16. Adriaan Strauss

17. Trevor Nyakane

18. Coenie Oosthuizen

19. Pieter-Steph du Toit

20. Siya Kolisi

21. Fourie du Preez

22. Handre Pollard

23. JP Pieterson

Fiji have included all the flair in their team to face England on FridayTwo of Ireland’s Women’s Six Nations winners have joined a big French club

Click Here: laois gaa jerseys