6 Jun 2007

The Iceman says Springboks the best

5:39 am on 6 June 2007

The Samoa rugby coach Michael Jones has acclaimed South Africa as potentially the best side in the world after naming his team for Sunday's one-off test.

Jones says playing the might of the Springboks at Ellis Park is the ultimate and will provide a benchmark for the players as they look towards the World Cup in September.

The All Black great says the Springboks are potentially the best team in the world right now and to play them is a chance of a lifetime, and a great privilege.

Jones says the continued well-being of Samoan rugby and the hopes of the sport becoming a global game depended on such matches.

Samoa have made three changes to the side who lost to Australia A in the Pacific Six Nations tournament last week, with the experienced wing Lome Fa'atau and the hooker Mahonri Schwalger returning and Justin Purdie coming in on the flank.

Sunday's encounter will be Samoa's fifth test in South Africa, with the Pacific Islanders losing all four previous meetings by heavy margins.

Samoa - 15-Gavin Williams; 14-Lome Fa'atau, 13-Anitelela Tuilagi, 12-Seilala Mapusua, 11-Alesana Tuilagi; 10-Loki Crichton, 9-Steven So'oalo; 8-Semo Sititi (captain), 7-Justin Purdie, 6-Daniel Leo, 5-Filipo Levi, 4-Kane Thompson, 3-Census Johnston, 2-Mahonri Schwalger, 1-Justin Va'a.

Replacements: 16-Muliufi Salanoa, 17-Donald Kerslake, 18-Iosefa Tekori, 19-Alfie Vaeluaga, 20-Junior Poluleuligaga, 21-Elvis Sevealii, 22-David Levi.