Rugby: Boks coach 'moves on' from doping row

Peter de Villiers. Photo / AP
Peter de Villiers. Photo / AP

South Africa coach Peter de Villiers said Tuesday he'd moved on from the positive drugs tests that led to the world champions losing two players after announcing his team to play Scotland.

Bjorn Basson, a wing, and replacement hooker Chiliboy Ralepelle were both sent home on Monday after failing random drug tests following the 23-21 win over Ireland in Dublin on November 6.

Ralepelle and Basson, who was due to fly home anyway because of an ankle injury sustained in the win over Wales, tested positive for the stimulant methylhexaneamine, commonly used as a nasal decongestant and which may also feature in nutritional supplements.

South Africa have made three changes, two enforced by the exits of Basson and Ralepelle, plus a positional switch for the match against Scotland at Murrayfield here on Saturday.

Full-back Zane Kirchner, scrum-half Francois Hougaard and No 8 Ryan Kankowski come into the side, while Gio Aplon moves to the wing after playing at full-back in last Saturday's 29-25 win over Wales in Cardiff.

Scrum-half Ruan Pienaar drops to the bench, while No 8 Pierre Spies drops out of the 22 entirely.

Hooker Adriaan Strauss and wing Lwazi Mvovo were involved in a match-day 22 for the first time on tour after being drafted onto the bench.

"We have moved on, we're professional, we know how to deal with tough moments and we look forward to playing the game on Saturday," said de Villiers of the drugs scandals after naming his side on Tuesday.

"There is a process in place in these cases and that is now being followed. As a squad we have moved on and are focusing only on Scotland."

He added the match would also be a useful indicator of South Africa's progress ahead of the defence of their World Cup title in New Zealand next year.

"This one for us is an opportunity, with some things in the future in mind, to see how on a par our players are," de Villiers said.

"There is a World Cup next year. You would have to be stupid if you think that 15 players or 22 players can win a World Cup for you.

"You have to have a squad of 30, so I'm just using the opportunity that this tour gives me and I will play all the players on this tour."
South Africa, halfway to a first 'grand slam' in 50 years, face a Scotland side coming off the back of last weekend's 49-3 thrashing by New Zealand.

Scotland, who've lost their last seven Tests against the Springboks, were due to name their side on Wednesday.

South Africa
Zane Kirchner; Gio Aplon, Francois Steyn, Jean de Villiers, Bryan Habana; Morne Steyn, Francois Hougaard; Ryan Kankowski, Juan Smith, Deon Stegmann; Victor Matfield (capt), Bakkies Botha; Jannie du Plessis, Bismarck du Plessis, Tendai Mtawarira
Replacements: Adriaan Strauss, CJ van der Linde, Flip van der Merwe, Willem Alberts, Ruan Pienaar, Patrick Lambie, Lwazi Mvovo

- AFP

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