World Cup-winning duo called up by the Springboks coach Peter de Villiers for Australia clash in Pretoria.
Steyn and Fourie back in favour
Peter de Villiers, the South Africa coach, has recalled World Cup winners Francois Steyn and Jaque Fourie to the backline for Saturday's Tri Nations Test against Australia in Pretoria. Steyn was named at full-back in place of Gio Aplon after returning from Racing Metro, his club in France. Fourie replaces Juan de Jongh at outside centre, after being banned for four weeks for a dangerous tackle against Australia in Brisbane earlier this month.
Fourie said he was excited about playing again with long-time midfield partner Jean de Villiers. "It's great to be back with Jean," Fourie said. "It's been a long time since we played next to each other - the last time was in last year's Tri Nations. "It's gone well in training and, as a combination, we'll just try to keep it simple, get over the advantage line and keep our forwards in the game." The coach kept faith with the forwards who produced a much-improved display of intensity, physicality and accuracy at the breakdowns in the last-minute 29-22 loss to New Zealand last weekend.
The Springboks had been 22-17 up with three minutes to go before conceding two late tries. The 2009 southern hemisphere champions have not won any of their matches in this year's competition, and have struggled to match the tempo at which New Zealand, the new champions, and the Wallabies have played. "We've got two games now against Australia and we can certainly pick ourselves up," John Smit, the captain, told a news conference in Pretoria yesterday.
"If we can forge the same intensity and urgency we showed last weekend, then we can limit the way they want to play." Meanwhile, the doctor involved in English rugby's fake blood scandal said she cut the lip of Tom Williams, the Harlequins winger, after he pretended to be injured in a Heineken Cup match last year. Williams had bitten on a capsule of fake blood to force a late blood replacement substitution during the English Premiership club's quarter-final loss to Leinster in April 2009.
His departure allowed Nick Evans, a specialist goalkicker, to take the field in his place to try to kick a winning drop goal. The player told a disciplinary hearing of the General Medical Council (GMC) that he had become "extremely panicked" and twice asked Wendy Chapman, the club doctor, to cut him after officials questioned his apparent injury. Mary O'Rourke, representing Chapman, who was suspended by the General Medical Council in September pending a formal investigation into allegations that she brought the profession into disrepute, said she had made the incision with a stitch cutter in the treatment room.
The doctor admitted the majority of the charges against her but denied misconduct in telling match officials that the player, who was banned for four months after confessing to the deception, also had a loose tooth. Michael Hayton, representing the GMC, accepted Chapman had no involvement in planning the incident. "When Tom Williams came off it was apparent to a number of people that what was coming from his mouth was not blood and it led to disquiet from Leinster officials, as they saw it was a ruse to bring back on Nick Evans," he said.
"What then took place is that the doctor examined Tom Williams and said he had a loose tooth in the presence of others," continued Hayton. "Then at the request of the player she cut his lip with a stitch cutter to cause an injury. * Agencies