Former All Blacks star Andrew Hore added to World XV squad
Former New Zealand star Andrew Hore is among the famous names added to World XV squad to face South Africa
Former New Zealand star Andrew Hore is among the famous names added to a World XV squad to face South Africa next month.
The 35-year-old All Blacks star, who retired after winning his 83rd cap in their dramatic 24-22 win over Ireland at the Aviva Stadium in November heads a quartet of Kiwis drafted in the second wave of call-ups.
With the French season quarter-finals out of the way, former Springboks coach Nick Mallett has again dipped into the talent playing in the French Top 14 as he finalised his squad for the one-off clash in Cape Town.
Castres-bound Clermont Auvergne speedster Sitiveni Sivivatu, Gloucester scrum-half Jimmy Cowan and Montpellier wing/centre Rene Ranger are the other Kiwis joining Toulouse winger Hosea Gear and Toulon prop Carl Hayman in Mallett’s squad.
After Clermont lost their 77-game unbeaten home record to Castres in the quarter-finals last weekend, Sivivatu is joined in the squad by club colleagues Aurelien Rougerie and Alexandre Lapandry with the majority of northern hemisphere players based in France.
The experienced group of 23 players boasts 707 caps from eight nations with just two uncapped players in South African duo Rory Kockott and Schalk Ferreira.
“The group of players who have been selected for this match are not only very experienced, but are all in very good form at the moment,” said Mallett.
“I’m very happy that the final pieces of the jigsaw are now falling into place.”
“Despite the very short preparation time, I’m really looking forward to getting together with this group of very talented players and preparing them for this match.”
The squad already boasted considerable international talent with Australia backs James O’Connor, Drew Mitchell and Matt Giteau already called up and plenty of power among the forwards with South Africans BJ Botha and Schalk Brits as well as England’s Steffon Armitage.
“It promises to be a very exciting match, looking at the talent assembled in this strong squad. I’m sure they are all relishing the opportunity to play against the Springboks in South Africa.
“It’s also a rare chance to see a World XV-style team playing in South Africa, and where better than the oldest Test venue in the country?”
Clermont flanker Julien Bonnaire withdrew from the squad through injury with a replacement yet to be named.
World XV squad to face South Africa on 7 June:
Backs: James O’Connor (London Irish/Australia), Drew Mitchell (Toulon/Australia), Hosea Gear (Toulouse/New Zealand), Sitiveni Sivivatu (Clermont Auvergne/New Zealand), Aurelien Rougerie (Clermont/France), Rene Ranger (Montpellier/New Zealand), Matt Giteau (Toulon/Australia), François Trinh-Duc (Montpelier/France), Rory Kockott (Castres/South Africa), Jimmy Cowan (Gloucester/New Zealand).
Forwards: Steffon Armitage (Toulon/England), Alexandre Lapandry (Clermont/France), Roger Wilson (Ulster/Ireland), Mamuka Gorgodze (Montpellier/Georgia), Alistair Hargreaves (Saracens/South Africa), Joe Tekori (Toulouse/Samoa), Juandre Kruger (Racing Metro/South Africa), Schalk Brits (Saracens/South Africa), Andrew Hore (Unattached/New Zealand), Schalk Ferreira (Toulouse/South Africa), Sona Taumololo (Perpignan/Tonga), BJ Botha (Munster/South Africa), Carl Hayman (Toulon/New Zealand).