Rugby: Lambie and Pietersen to bolster Springboks in Dublin

Coach Heyneke Meyer. Photo / Getty Images
Coach Heyneke Meyer. Photo / Getty Images

South Africa coach Heyneke Meyer named Pat Lambie at five-eighths as one of three injury-enforced changes for this weekend's tour-opening international against Ireland at Dublin's Lansdowne Road.

Lambie replaced Johan Goosen, who started at first five-eighths in last month's 10-32 Rugby Championship defeat to New Zealand in Soweto.

JP Pietersen and lock Juandre Kruger come in for star winger Bryan Habana and Andries Bekker respectively after injuries ruled the duo out of South Africa's tour of Ireland and Britain.

"I'm excited to see what Pat can bring to the team," Meyer said after announcing his side.

"He played very well in the last few weeks of the Currie Cup and hopefully he can bring that momentum with him on [Sunday].

"It's also good to have JP back. He's had a great season and will want to finish the season on a high.

"At lock there has been strong competition for the number five jersey all season and now Juandre gets an opportunity again."

Meanwhile, South Africa's bench includes hooker Schalk Brits, a leading performer in the English Premiership with Saracens.

If the hooker takes the field this weekend he will win his first cap since 2008.

"Schalk is an explosive player who can add something special from the bench," said Meyer.

Injuries have seen South Africa arrive in Europe without several senior players in Schalk Burger, Juan Smith and Heinrich Brussow.

But Meyer said he was looking forward to seeing how his less well-known players coped with the demands of test rugby in the British Isles ahead of the 2015 World Cup in England.

"I want to see which of the players can handle the Northern Hemisphere conditions as it will be the same for 2015," he explained.

"We'll be facing an Ireland team that is never an easy opponent in Dublin.

"The Springboks have only won one of their last four tests here and since they lost at Lansdowne Road against South Africa in November 2010, Ireland have recorded a number of good victories at their home ground.

"They are a quality and well-balanced side with good experienced players.

"We've seen in our last number of tests against Ireland how dangerous they can be."

South Africa's tour also includes a test against Scotland at Murrayfield on November 17 before concluding a week later when they face England at Twickenham.

Weekend match-ups

Canada v Samoa
Colwyn Bay, tomorrow, 7am, live Rugby Channel

Wales v Argentina
Cardiff, Sunday, 3.30am, 11am RC

England v Fiji
London, Sunday, 3.30am, live RC

Italy v Tonga
Rome, Sunday, 4am

Ireland v South Africa
Dublin, Sunday, 6.30am, live RC

France v Australia
Paris, Sunday, 9am, live RC.

- NZ Herald

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