Venter set for Springbok Test debut

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Francois Venter going over for his try against the Barbarians. PHOTO: JOEL FORD

The Springboks will be naming their team on Thursday afternoon which will tackle England on Saturday in London.

Injuries to the team has made the task a lot harder for coach Allister Coetzee, and this could see the mentor having to take some risks in key positions.

All eyes will be on the centre combination and it is expected that the Toyota Cheetahs captain Francois Venter will make his debut, alongside Damien de Allende.

Venter has been one of the most consistent players in South Africa for quite some time and had an impressive outing against the Barbarians during last weeks’ 31-31 draw at Wembley.

Rohan Janse van Rensburg, who had a stellar performance in the number 12 jersey is set to miss out.

It is also expected that Coetzee will go for power up front with Willem Alberts, Pieter-Steph du Toit and Warren Whitely in the backrow, while Eben Etzebeth and Lood de Jager will play lock.

No major surprised are expected in the front row with limited options and the safest route will be Vincent Koch, Adriaan Strauss and Tendai Mtawarira.

Whiteley, who is a more established player in the team say they are still building and they are on the right track despite their average season.

“The most important thing is for us to carry on with what we are doing and believe in what we are doing when the pressure is on and the results are perhaps not in our favour.

“That it is very important and that is what we are busy doing here.

“We believe in what we are doing, it’s not going to be easy but the results will come.

“I know things will turn in our favour the longer we spend time together as a team and we in what we are doing.”

The Springbok team will be named at 15:00 on Thursday afternoon, with the Test against England at Twickenham kicking off at 16:30.

Possible Springbok team to face England – 15 Willie le Roux, 14 Ruan Combrinck, 13 Francois Venter, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 JP Pietersen, 10 Patrick Lambie, 9 Rudy Paige, 8 Warren Whiteley, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Willem Alberts, 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Vincent Koch, 2 Adriaan Strauss (Captain), 1 Tendai Mtawarira.

Replacements – 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Lourens Adriaanse, 19 Franco Mostert, 20 Nizaam Carr, 21 Faf de Klerk, 22 Johan Goosen, 23 Lionel Mapoe.