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Rossouw livid at second-string tag


Danie Rossouw

Danie Rossouw

Danie Rossouw

Giant South Africa lock Danie Rossouw has reacted angrily to suggestions he is part of a second-string Springbok side which will take on Australia in Saturday night's Tri Nations opener in Sydney.

Springbok coach Peter De Villiers has left more than 20 regular internationals at home for the ANZ Stadium clash, preferring to give his star players a rest ahead of September's World Cup. Three South Africans will make their debut against the Wallabies, while nine others have less than 10 caps to their name.

It leaves the likes of Rossouw, captain John Smit and centre Wynand Olivier as the only established players in the side but the 33-year-old said: "This second string stuff, I'm not listening to it. It's a Springbok team and if you get picked for a Springbok team, you give your best."

He added: "We've got the best 22 for this game and that's how it is. It's not nice to be called the second-string team."

Olivier was also furious at the suggestions of it being a second-rate South African side and said the Australians would be in for a shock if they were to underestimate his team-mates.

"As far as I'm concerned, there's no such thing as a B side or a second-string side or whatever," he said. "In years to come, they're going to say Samoa beat Australia. They're not going to ask what the side was like.

"So Samoa beat them and, for us, we're the Springboks and we've come here to win the game and put up a challenge.

"This weekend is definitely going to be a big one - B side, A side, it doesn't matter. A Test is a Test and it's always a physical confrontation and I can't see anything less than a physical confrontation."

Olivier said the Springboks had taken some confidence out of Samoa's upset win over the Wallabies last weekend but were wary of a fierce backlash from the home side.

"I don't think they expected it. I don't think anyone expected it. It will be in the back of their minds and they won't want to lose to us as well," he said. "They're going to be fired up for us and we expect nothing less than a physical confrontation from them."