Planet Rugby

Mallett to coach World XV v Boks

07th April 2014 14:36

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Nick Mallett RWC 2011

World XV coach: Nick Mallett

The SARU have confirmed Nick Mallett will coach a World XV against South Africa to be played at Newlands on Saturday 7th June.

The match had originally been scheduled to take place at Cape Town Stadium, but has now been moved to the city's premier rugby venue for maximum effect.

The SARU have made it clear that Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer will have a full-strength squad available for the showdown against a team featuring some of the biggest stars playing in the major European leagues.

All Black legend Carl Hayman and Springbok World Cup-winner, BJ Botha, have been named as front-rows in the first release of confirmed participants named by organisers.

The backline will feature outstanding Wallaby talents in James O'Connor, Matt Giteau and Drew Mitchell as well as All Black Hosea Gear in a team that is so far drawn from five nations.

France will be represented in the form of stylish back-row, Julien Bonnaire, and fly-half François Trinh-Duc while Toulon-based England back-row Steffon Armitage is part of a Six Nations triumvirate so far named.

"This is an almost unique opportunity to see an international team playing in South Africa with the freedom of not needing a certain result," said Jurie Roux, CEO of the SARU.

"We've all watched on TV those festival-style games in the European winter where great players combine their talents to produce some stunning rugby and provide a real challenge to the SANZAR nations on tour. We've now got one of those games on our doorstep.

"We're very excited about the players who will be turning out against the Boks at Newlands and we'll be releasing a lot more big names in due course."

The occasion is the start of the 18-match countdown that Meyer has in which to prepare the Springbok team for the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England. The Springboks will play 14 matches in 2014 before a shortened, four-match Rugby Championship is the final 'warm-up' before the team departs next year.

"It's always a challenge for the Springbok coach to prepare a team for the first test of the year as the squad only assembles in the week of the Test," said Meyer.

"There are certain goals I have set for the team this year and the match against the World XV, is the ideal opportunity to start putting those plans in place.

"We enjoyed a relatively successful 2013 but we'll be looking to step up a gear from the first minute of the first match of the year."

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