• Mallett to coach against Boks

    Nick Mallett will take charge of the World XV side scheduled to tackle the Springboks at Newlands on 7 June.

    Mallett was the head coach when the Barbarians beat the Boks back in 2010. It has been confirmed that he will coach another composite international side this June.

    Saru has also confirmed that this game will be played at Newlands, and not at the Cape Town Stadium as first suggested.

    Bok coach Heyneke Meyer will have a full-strength squad available for the showdown against a team featuring some of the biggest stars playing in the major European leagues.

    All Blacks legend Carl Hayman and Bok World Cup winner BJ Botha have been named as front-rankers in the first release of confirmed participants named by organisers.

    The backline will feature Wallabies James O’Connor, Matt Giteau and Drew Mitchell as well as All Blacks winger Hosea Gear in a team that is so far drawn from five nations.

    France will be represented by No 8 Julien Bonnaire and inside back François Trinh-Duc, while Toulon-based England back-rower Steffon Armitage is part of a Six Nations triumvirate.

    The rest of the squad will be named later.

    The occasion is the start of the 18-match countdown that Meyer has in which to prepare the Bok team for the 2015 World Cup in England. The Boks will play 14 matches in 2014 before a shortened, four-match Rugby Championship in 2015.

    'It’s always a challenge for the Springbok coach to prepare a team for the first Test of the year as the squad only assembles in the week of the Test,' said Meyer. 'There are certain goals I have set for the team this year and the match against the Samsung-sponsored World XV, is the ideal opportunity to start putting those plans in place.

    'We enjoyed a relatively successful 2013 but we’ll be looking to step up a gear from the first minute of the first match of the year.'

    Photo: Duif du Toit/Gallo Images

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    Jon Cardinelli