Thu, Nov 11, 2004 - Page 19 News List

South Africa, Ireland prepare for test


South Africa recalled flanker AJ Venter and Ireland unveiled new flanker Jonny O'Connor for their rugby union test at Lansdowne Road on Saturday.

Venter missed South Africa's 38-36 win over Wales last weekend because of a hamstring injury, but was the only change in coach Jake White's starting lineup named on Tuesday. Venter replaced Juan Smith.

On the replacements bench, forward Danie Rossouw was picked ahead of Vuyisa Dlulane, and either Gaffie du Toit or Jaque Fourie will take the place of back Brent Russell. Du Toit will start if flyhalf Jaco van der Westhuyzen, who injured his finger against Wales, fails a fitness test.

Winger Breyton Paulse will become the sixth Springbok to earn 50 caps, and the first black.

O'Connor will be under pressure to help Ireland try and beat South Africa for the first time since 1965.

Ireland coach Eddie O'Sullivan has been impressed with O'Connor's form for his London Wasps club.

"We all know the sort of game Jonny plays," O'Sullivan said. "He's on top form at the moment and it's a great opportunity for him."

O'Connor was one of three changes to the team which lost to South Africa 26-17 in Cape Town in June, replacing David Wallace and earning the nod ahead of Eric Miller.

Shane Horgan moves into center to replace Gordon D'Arcy, who has a groin injury.

"Shane has operated at center with Brian [O'Driscoll] quite a bit for [club team] Leinster," O'Sullivan said. "He's played most of his rugby for Ireland on the wing but I think he has the qualities of an inside center."

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