John_s_version_1The teams were announced yesterday for the Second Test between South Africa and Ireland which takes place  on Saturday in Johannesburg. Kick off 4:00pm UK/IRE, live on Sky Sports. 

I’m pleased to see that Joe Schmidt has continued to mix things up with ten changes to the squad that featured in the First Test. Stuart Olding, Craig Gilroy, Tadgh Furlong, Quinn Roux and Rhys Ruddock all come into the starting XV with Dave Kilcoyne, Finlay Bealham, Donnacha Ryan, Sean Reidy and Tiernan O’Halloran all starting on the bench. 

In contrast, South Africa have made only five changes to their match day squad and four of those are because of injury. Elton Jantjies and Pieter-Steph du Toit come into the starting line up at out half and second row respectively with Franco Mostert, Morne Steyn and Ruan Combrinck joining the bench. 

After last weeks win for Ireland the game has probably moved beyond the personnel selected with this game most likely to be won by the team that get’s it right in their heads.

On one hand you have the wounded Springbok vying for redemption, not just in the eyes of their coach but in the eyes of an aggressively proud rugby nation, and on the other hand we have an over hyped Ireland who played well enough to let South Africa beat themselves.

Coetzee has clearly opted for the redemption route but Schmidt has rather cleverly, in my opinion, guarded against complacency from the Irish by introducing ten new bodies into the equation, no doubt each instructed to go out and make their own piece of history. 

This will be a ferocious test for our boys and, while Ireland have the much better back line, it’s going to be up front where this one is won and lost and, with so much depending on how Ireland react to the altitude, I don’t really know what way it’s going to go!

No big loss there then as I got my prediction completely wrong last week. South Africa were considerably worse than I expected and Ireland’s defence much better.  You know what, I don’t really care which way it goes this week – I’m just pleased that Schmid has continued to mix it up.

However, regular readers won’t forgive me if I don’t give a prediction to be admired and laughed at in unequal measure, so here goes:

The FRU Predicts: I’ve no where to go here after predicting a loss last week. If I predict a win and Ireland lose then I will be treated with rancour by what remains of our readership! However, a win it will be with Stuart Olding stealing the show after the forwards, on both sides, have punched themselves out! 

South Africa   Ireland
Willie le Roux 15 Jared Payne
JP Pietersen 14 Andrew Trimble
Lionel Mapoe 13 Robbie Henshaw
Damian De Allende 12 Stuart Olding
Lwazi Mvovo 11 Craig Gilroy
Elton Jantjies 10 Paddy Jackson
Faf de Klerk 9 Conor Murray
Tendai Mtawarira 1 Jack McGrath
Adriaan Strauss 2 Rory Best
Frans Malherbe 3 Tadhg Furlong
Eben Etzebeth 4 Devin Toner
Pieter-Steph du Toit 5 Quinn Roux
Francois Louw 6 Iain Henderson
Siya Kolisi 7 Rhys Ruddock
Duane Vermeulen 8 Jamie Heaslip
Bongi Mbonambi 16 Richardt Strauss
Trevor Nyakane 17 Dave Kilcoyne
Julian Redelinghuys 18 Finlay Bealham
Franco Mostert 19 Donnacha Ryan
Warren Whiteley 20 Sean Reidy
Rudy Paige 21 Kieran Marmion
Morne Steyn 22 Ian Madigan
Ruan Combrinck 23 Tiernan O’Halloran

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