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Boks coach to rest regulars

By unknown | Sep 17, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

PARIS - Veterans John Smit and Victor Matfield will be among the players rested by South African coach Jake White for Saturday's World Cup match with Tonga, White said yesterday.

White said there were pros and cons for doing so but that it was good to give some of the players - who have played a lot of rugby this year - a breather and give others a run before the knockout stages.

Captain Smit and lock Matfield were outstanding in the opening two wins over Samoa (59-7) and world champions England (36-0), but White said even though he had pencilled in the team for the Tonga match after Friday's win over England, he would take stock of the Pacific Islander's match with Samoa.

"It is pretty definite that John, Victor, Os du Randt and Fourie du Preez will not play while Schalk also needs a rest," said White in reference to the two-match ban flanker Schalk Burger picked up last week.

"Others though, such as JP Pietersen, need more rugby."

Pietersen is the right winger who has scored three tries so far including a brace against England.

"He could become an even bigger star by the end of the campaign," added White.

South Africa play Tonga in Lens on Saturday and round off their first round matches against the as-yet-winless United States in Montpellier on September 30.

Their likely quarterfinal opponents will be Wales after the Welsh went down 32-20 to two-time champions Australia on Saturday. - Sapa-AFP


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