Springbok selectors get tough and drop Venter


On a day that South Africa gave their most promising forward another chance to make a mark on the world stage, a former Scotland captain was struck off the cast-list.

The Springboks have reacted to their close shave against Wales by picking the 22-year-old Western Province flanker Bobby Skinstad for their meeting with Scotland at Murrayfield on Saturday.

If this was a little ruthless on the man Skinstad replaces - Andre Venter scored the winning try against Wales at Wembley in the last minute - Scotland's coach Jim Telfer and his fellow selectors have been just as unsentimental with Rob Wainwright, who does not even make a squad of 22.

Following the example of Wales, Telfer knows that to put a spoke in the wheel of the South African juggernaut he needs as physical a side as he can muster. Wainwright was substituted after an uninspiring hour in the 24-8 defeat by the New Zealand Maoris last weekend. He has been replaced by Newcastle's Peter Walton, recalled to the international set-up after missing the summer tour to Australia.

Scotland have also shown the door to their record try-scorer Tony Stanger and the full-back Rowen Shepherd.

Telfer explained: "Since we played Australia in the summer we have lost the two heaviest forwards in our pack in Gordon Simpson and Matthew Proudfoot. We feel Peter coming back will add that abrasive bulk that Simpson gave us in Australia."

Scotland name a team tomorrow. South Africa were more decisive yesterday, giving Skinstad his chance after his impressive displays as a replacement in the Tri-Nations tournament. Christian Stewart, a 32-year-old centre who played 14 Tests for Canada between 1991 and 1995, makes a Springbok Test debut in place of Franco Smith.

Nick Mallett, South Africa's coach, admitted that dismantling a back row that has been a key component in 15 successive Test victories was hard. "It was a very difficult decision but it is something I have been thinking about for a long time now. Bobby is a `game breaker' and he is probably the form loose-forward in South Africa at the moment."

South Africa: Saturday, November 21st): P Montgomery; S Terblanche, A Snyman, C Stewart, P Rossouw; H Honiball, J van der Westhuizen; R Kempson, J Dalton, A Garvey; K Otto, M Andrews; J Erasmus, G Teichmann (capt), B Skinstad. Replacements: G du Toit, F Smith, W Swanepoel, C Krige, A Venter, O Le Roux, N Drotske.

Scotland (squad v South Africa): Backs - G Armstrong (Newcastle Falcons), D Hodge (Edinburgh Reivers), D Lee (London Scottish), J Leslie (Glasgow Caledonians), K Logan (Wasps), J Mayer (Edinburgh Reivers), C Murray (Edinburgh Reivers), B Redpath (Edinburgh Reivers), A Tait (Edinburgh Reivers), G Townsend (Brive); Forwards - S Brotherstone (Edinburgh Reivers), G Bulloch (Glasgow Caledonian), P Burnell (London Scottish), S Grimes (Glasgow Caledonians), D Hilton (Bath), M Leslie (Edinburgh Reivers), S Murray (Bedford), E Peters (Bath), B Pountney (Northampton), T Smith (Glasgow Caledonians), P Walton (Newcastle Falcons), D Weir (Newcastle Falcons).

The Floodlit Cup semi-final between Old Belvedere and Lansdowne, postponed from Tuesday night, has been refixed for tonight at Anglesea Road. The winners will face Clontarf in the final next Tuesday.