Swanepoel replaces Van der Westhuizen


Werner Swanepoel was yesterday handed one of the toughest jobs in rugby - taking over from injured playmaking star Joost van der Westhuizen in the South African team.

Swanepoel (24), was named by coach Nick Mallett to start in the second Test against France at the Parc des Princes on Saturday.

The Free State player has played in just three previous Tests - all as a replacement - making his debut against the Lions in Johannesburg in July.

Van der Westhuizen returned home after suffering a serious groin injury in the first Test in Lyon last Saturday. The Springbok team is otherwise unchanged from that which beat France 3632.

Swanepoel's place on the bench will be taken by uncapped Dan van Zyl, who will be hoping to become the first player from the Mpumulanga Pumas to play in a Test match.

The South Africans will be aiming for the fifth straight victory over the Five Nations champions and are thriving under Mallett's attack-minded coaching.

South Africa: P Montgmery; J Small, A Snyman, D Muir, P Rossouw; H Honiball, W Swanepoel; G Teichmann (captain), A Venter, J Erasmus, K Otto, M Andrews, A Garvey, J Dalton, O du Randt. Replacements: J de Beer, D van Zyl, A Aitken, B Els, N Drotske, D Theron.