Cape Town – Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus has made six changes and a positional switch to his starting XV for the Rugby Championship clash against the Wallabies in Brisbane on Saturday.
The Springboks have a new-look front row, a reshuffled loose trio as well as a different midfield combination. Erasmus also included uncapped outside back Cheslin Kolbe on the bench, with the former Blitzbok and Junior Springbok speedster set to make his full Test debut should he join the action as a replacement. Steven Kitshoff and Bongi Mbonambi will form a new-look front row next to Frans Malherbe, while Tendai Mtawarira and Malcolm Marx are set to play off the bench. Siya Kolisi (captain) returns to the No 6 jersey after playing on the opposite side of the scrum against the Pumas in Durban and Mendoza.
Pieter-Steph du Toit will start in the No 7 jersey and Warren Whiteley completes the loose trio at No 8. Elton Jantjies swaps places at flyhalf with Handre Pollard, who is now amongst the replacements, with Faf de Klerk again performing the scrumhalf duties. Erasmus also rotated his midfield, which means a first start this year for Damian de Allende, who will resume his centre partnership with Jesse Kriel. Aphiwe Dyantyi and Makazole Mapimpi (wings) and the experienced Willie le Roux completes the rest of the South African backline.
“We are looking for a good response on Saturday against the Wallabies and I am sure that this side will be up to the task,” said Erasmus. According to the Bok mentor, both sides will be desperate to succeed as a result of their respective results in the previous round of matches. “Australia, playing at home, will no doubt be highly motivated to bounce back, so we have to be ready for a huge contest,” said Erasmus.
“We have worked hard to rectify our errors of last week and we know the set piece and breakdown battles are going to be especially important. The Wallabies are known for their abilities at the breakdown and we will have to be accurate and disciplined in those areas.”
Saturday’s Test is scheduled for 12:00.
15 Israel Folau, Dane Haylett-Petty, 13 Reece Hodge, 12 Matt Toomua, 11 Marika Koroibete, 10 Kurtley Beale, 9 Will Genia, 8 David Pocock, 7 Michael Hooper (captain), 6 Lukhan Tui, 5 Adam Coleman, 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Allan Alaalatoa, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 Scott Sio
Substitutes: 16 Folau Faingaa, 17 Tom Robertson, 18 Taniela Tupou, 19 Izack Rodda, 20 Ned Hanigan, 21 Joe Powell, 22 Bernard Foley, 23 Jack Maddocks
15 Willie le Roux, 14 Makazole Mapimpi, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Aphiwe Dyantyi, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Warren Whiteley, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Steven Kitshoff
Substitutes: 16 Malcolm Marx, 17 Beast Mtawarira, 18 Wilco Louw, 19 RG Snyman, 20 Francois Louw, 21 Embrose Papier, 22 Handre Pollard, 23 Cheslin Kolbe