Two of the most experienced coaches in world rugby, Robbie Deans of New Zealand and France’s Bernard Laporte, will take charge of a star-studded World XV for their match against the Springboks at Newlands in Cape Town on Saturday, July 11.
Deans was in charge of a Barbarians team that beat an Ireland XV 22-21 in Limerick, Ireland on Thursday.
The Newlands clash will be the Springboks’ season-opener and last year in the corresponding fixture, more than 30,000 spectators fsaw the South Africans beat a strong World XV by 47-13, with Heyneke Meyer’s side scoring six tries in the process.
“Between them, Robbie and Bernard are two of the most experienced coaches in world rugby since the game turned professional two decades ago,” said Jurie Roux, CEO of the South African Rugby Union (SARU).
“Under Robbie, the Crusaders won five Super Rugby titles, he was also assistant All Blacks coach and took charge of the Wallabies for six years, including a victory in the Rugby Championship in 2011.
“Bernard’s been one of the biggest names in French rugby. He coached their national side from 1999 to 2007, won the Six Nations four times, and has been with Toulon recently as they dominated the European rugby scene, with three consecutive victories in the Heineken and Champions Cups.
“The experience they bring to the World XV will make this a very formidable outfit and will provide the Springboks with a proper test as they get this very important season underway.”
The 55-year-old Deans is currently involved with the Panasonic Wild Knights in Japan, but also coached the Barbarians this week for their matches against Ireland, which took place on Thursday, and England, scheduled for Sunday.
Laporte, 50, is a former French Secretary of State for Sport. Apart from France and Toulon, he also coached former French club champions Stade Français and Bordeaux-Begles.
The names of players selected for the World XV will be released in due course.