Date: 10th July 2006 at 8:55am
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Manchester United will depart this week for a 3-game South African tour minus a fair proportion of their first team.

England super-stars Neville, Ferdinand and Rooney will be joined by Van Der Sar, Ruud, Park Ji-Sung and Henize in having a nice rest after the World Cup.

This will give an opportunity to some of the squad players to re-ignite their careers under Sir Alex. United take on the Orlando Pirates, Kaizer Chiefs, and then play one of the two teams again before coming back for the August season-opener.

Scots midfielder Fletcher is one of the perennial Cup-starters come Subs and is relishing the chance to shine whilst the big boys are away:

‘Our young players will be coming back for pre-season with not so many first team players around, so there is an opportunity for players to be starting more games than expected, they need to take full advantage.’