botha, rossouw fit to play

SPRINGBOK coach Peter de Villiers has included Bakkies Botha and Danie Rossouw in the side to take on the All Blacks at Eden Park in Auckland tomorrow.

SPRINGBOK coach Peter de Villiers has included Bakkies Botha and Danie Rossouw in the side to take on the All Blacks at Eden Park in Auckland tomorrow.

De Villiers had delayed naming his squad due to injuries to the two forwards, only to include them when announcing the squad yesterday. It could be viewed as a shrewd move by De Villiers as he has kept counterpart Graham Henry guessing right up to the last minute.

There are three changes to the Springbok team that did duty against Italy two weeks ago.

Fullback Zane Kirchner returns, Wynand Olivier gets the nod over Juan de Jongh and Victor Matfield returns after a well-deserved rest.

De Villiers appears to be happy with his team.

"All of the players in the group are fit and available so there were some tough choices to make but we are putting a very strong team out there," De Villiers said.

In the build-up to tomorrow's game Much has been made of the fact that the Boks whitewashed the All Blacks in all three Tests they played last year, but the coach is having none of that.

"If you look backwards you will go backwards. Last year's results are in the past and we face a new challenge on Saturday. It will be tough but we expect it to be, as it always is against the All Blacks," said De Villiers. Matfield, recognised as the top lock in world rugby, is licking his lips in anticipation of clashing with his team's old enemy and renewing his battle with opposite lock Brad Thorn.

The lineout is undoubtedly a Springbok strength and tomorrow should be no different.

"The lineout is one of our strengths but we have to be good in all departments," Matfield said.

Springboks: Zane Kirchner, Jean de Villiers, Jaque Fourie, Wynand Olivier, Bryan Habana, Morné Steyn,

Ricky Januarie, Pierre Spies, Francois Louw, Schalk Burger, Victor Matfield, Bakkies Botha, Jannie du

Plessis, John Smit (captain), Gurthrö Steenkamp. Reserves: Chiliboy Ralepelle, BJ Botha, Andries Bekker, Danie Rossouw, Ruan Pienaar, Butch James and Gio Aplon.

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