Bok coach aims for three wins in Test

A full-strength Springbok squad left South Africa on Friday seeking to make it three wins out of three in Wales, Scotland and England in the coming weeks.

A full-strength Springbok squad left South Africa on Friday seeking to make it three wins out of three in Wales, Scotland and England in the coming weeks.

Springbok coach Peter de Villiers won just two of the Boks' six Tri-Nations matches in the southern hemisphere competition earlier this year.

But with just a few months away from the British and Irish Lions' visit to South Africa next season, he'll be looking to land an early psychological blow this month.

Said De Villiers. "It [the squad] has been selected from the players we used during the Tri-Nations as well as the form players in the (domestic) Currie Cup."

While De Villiers has opted to leave out his Europe-based Boks, among them flyhalf Butch James and tighthead prop CJ van der Linde, he has recalled World Cup stars Bakkies Botha and Jaque Fourie, who missed most of the Tri-Nations because of injury.

John Smit also returns to the side as captain after picking up a groin injury in the Boks' first Tri-Nations Test in Wellington in July.

De Villiers appears to have a squad capable of getting the better of Wales, Scotland and England, but he has gambled somewhat by opting to tour with two inexperienced flyhalves and a lack of depth at tighthead prop.

Star scrumhalf Ruan Pienaar is De Villiers' first choice pivot, with the uncapped Earl Rose his back-up. In the front row, captain Smit has been shifted from hooker to tighthead with the relatively inexperienced Brian Mujati the only other recognised scrum anchor in the squad.

The World Champions will especially be tested by Wales at the Millennium Stadium (November 8) and England at Twickenham (November 22). The tour will also serve as a stern test of De Villiers' credentials.

The Bok boss has punted a new, expansive style for the team, but was largely unsuccessful during the Tri-Nations. He is hoping the introduction of Pienaar at flyhalf will provide the spark for his new running style.

The Boks meet Scotland on November 15. - Sapa-AFP

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