Jean de Villiers expects scrum to be deciding factor

Boks want to break losing sequence against France in France that now extends to 16 years

 Heyneke Meyer: is not in Paris for the sightseeing.

Heyneke Meyer: is not in Paris for the sightseeing.


France host South Africa at the Stade de France tonight looking to maintain their 100 per cent record over the Springboks at the venue.

The match will only be the third time these two sides have met at the Stade de France – South Africa lost 20-10 there in 2001 and 26-20 in 2005.

This clash will be the visitors’ toughest assignment of their November European tour but boss Heyneke Meyer insists the Boks haven’t “come to Paris to do sightseeing” and they can finally win at the venue.

“We want to break the losing sequence we have against France in France that extends now to 16 years,” said the Boks coach this week.

“Around the globe in the last year the French scrum earned the most penalties and conceded the fewest . . . it will be a scrumming test for us,” admitted skipper Jean de Villiers.

The Springboks rested some of their big names for last weekend’s thumping 28-0 victory over Scotland, but they all return for the Paris showdown, with six changes in all from Murrayfield.

Tendai Mtawarira, Morne Steyn, Bismarck du Plessis and Eben Etzebeth are all back in the starting line-up.

Prop Coenie Oosthuizen – who has made 13 appearances off the bench, including a try-scoring cameo against the Scots – is handed his first start, replacing the injured Frans Malherbe in the front row.

On the bench, fellow prop Lourens Adriaanse could make his debut if he comes on.

Philippe Saint-Andre has made five changes to his France starting XV for tonight’s meeting. Florian Fritz, Yoann Huget, Wenceslas Lauret, Pascal Pape and Benjamin Kayser all come back into the side in the wake of last Saturday’s victory over Tonga.