By Andrew Hogan in Tbilisi
The South Africa President’s XV side has made three changes from the team that defeated Emerging Ireland in round two for Sunday’s decisive clash with Georgia at the Avchala Stadium.
Victory for the South Africans will see them claim the inaugural IRB Tbilisi Cup, while Georgia and even Emerging Ireland, who play Uruguay, still have outside claims on the title.
The President’s XV currently top the Tbilisi Cup standings on nine points, George have five and Emerging Ireland four with Uruguay yet to open their account.
If Georgia record a bonus-point win and deny the President’s XV anything from the fixture they will claim the silverware. A regulation win may be enough, too, if their opponents fail to pick up any form of bonus point and lose by more than 10 points.
To be crowned champions Emerging Ireland need a maximum five-point haul against Uruguay and hope Georgia overcome the table-topping South Africans but without picking up a bonus point in the process.
Sinovuyo Nyoka comes in at scrum half for the President's XV, Jaco Bouwer at blindside flanker and Renaldo Bothma at number 8 following his recovery from injury.
Stonehouse said: “Georgia will be a different challenge from Emerging Ireland. We will go into it with the mindset that it will be very physical. They have big guys in their team from numbers 1 to 15. They are all big and strong and it is going to be a tough battle but for us. It is however a very important game for us to win as well.”
The Georgians have made 11 changes from the side that beat Uruguay 27-3 on Tuesday with only Beka Tsiklauri, Todua Aleksandre, Vakhtang Maisuradze and Beka Bitsadze retaining their places in the starting line-up.
Coach Milton Haig said: “We have picked up a few knocks in matches and training so we have been forced into making a few changes. That said, the boys that I’ve selected are committed to the job ahead. They have a chance to win the inaugural Tbilisi Cup and they are going to work hard to try and achieve this. It will be a challenge as the South Africans have a good backline with plenty of pace. Our squad of 22 is relishing the challenge.”
South African President’s XV
15. Coenie van Wyk; 14. Alshaun Bock; 13. Willmaure Louw; 12. Adriaan Engelbrecht; 11. Rosko Specman; 10. Carl Bezuidenhout; 9. Sinovuyo Nyoka; 1. Vincent Koch; 2. Frank Herne; 3. Ivann Espag; 4. Eduan van der Walt; 5. Brendan Strydom (captain); 6. Jaco Bouwer; 7. Uzair Cassiem; 8. Renaldo Bothma
Replacements: 16. Ashton Constant; 17. Martin Dreyer; 18. Giant Mtyanda; 19. Brian Shabangu; 20. Kebe Ntando; 21. Stefan Watermeyer; 22. Jerome Pretorius.
15. Irakli Kiasashvili; 14. Beka Tsiklauri; 13. Davit Kacharava; 12. Tamaz Mchedlidze; 11. Todua Aleksandre; 10. Lasha Malaguradze ; 9. Vazha Khutsishvili ; 1. Anton Peikrishvili; 2. Shalva Mamaukashvili; 3. Levan Chilachava; 4. Vakhtang Maisuradze; 5. Kote Mikautadze; 6. Giorgi Nemsadze; 7. Givi Berishvili ; 8. Beka Bitsadze
Replacements: 16. Revaz Belkania; 17. Giorgi Tetrashvili; 18. Simon Maisuradze; 19. Giorgi Tkhilaishvili; 20. Giorgi Rokhvadze; 21. Revaz Jinchvelashvili; 22. Zurab Dzneladze
Emerging Ireland v Uruguay
Emerging Ireland have made four changes to the side that played the South Africa President’s XV on Tuesday for Sunday’s match with Uruguay.
Eoin Griffin is recalled to the centre to partner Noel Reid and Rob Herring wears the number two jersey in place of Niall Annett. David O’Callaghan comes into the second row and Eoin McKeon will pack down at number 8.
Coach Allen Clark said: “We are looking to convert our chances tomorrow. We have created enough but have so far failed to convert our chances and that is what we have spent most of our time on this week. The Uruguayans have been passionate and physical all week and we expect the same tomorrow from them.”
Uruguay have made two changes to their starting personnel and three positional for their final match of the tournament. Gaston Gubernau, Pablo Bueno and Joaquin Prada all retain their place in the back line but switch position. Arturo Avalo comes in at hooker and will captain the side. Juan de Freitas is named in the back row.
Pablo Lemoine’s side is yet to register a point in the tournament but he is hopeful his side will round off their campaign on a high note. “We hope it will be a good game. It has been a tough 12 days for our young squad but we will learn from this experience,” he said. “What we are keen to do tomorrow is switch up the attack between backs and forwards and see if we can challenge a strong Ireland side.”
15. David Kearney; 14. Niall Morris; 13. Eoin Griffin; 12. Noel Reid; 11. Tiernan O’Halloran; 10. Ian Keatley; 9. John Cooney; 1. Jack McGrath; 2. Rob Herring; 3. Michael Bent ; 4. David O’Callaghan; 5. David Foley; 6. Rhys Ruddock (captain); 7. Jordi Murphy; 8. Eoin McKeon
Replacements: 16. Niall Annett; 17. Richard Lutton; 18. Ian Nagle; 19. Dominic Ryan; 20. Michael Heaney; 21. Brendan Macken; 22. Peter Nelson.
15. Jeronimo Etcheverry; 14. Gaston Gubernau; 13. Leandro Leivas; 12. Alberto Roman; 11. Pablo Bueno; 10. Joaquin Prada; 9. Alejo Duran; 1. Alejo Corral; 2. Arturo Avalo (captain); 3. Mario Sagario; 4. Rodrigo Espiga; 5. Franco Lamanna; 6. Juan de Freitas ; 7. Fernando Bascou; 8. Juan Gaminara
Replacements: 16. Nicolas Klappenbach; 17. Rodolfo de Mula; 18. Gaston Barburu; 19. Jose Coronel; 20. Juan Tasistro; 21. Agustin Del Castillo; 22. German Albanell.
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