Five Springbok changes for 100th match against New Zealand
TOWNSVILLE, Australia (AP) — South Africa coach Jacques Nienaber has gone for experience in naming his side for the Springboks' historic 100th test match against New Zealand on Saturday.
Nienaber recalled the veteran trio of Lood de Jager, Elton Jantjies and Frans Steyn for the match at Townsville in north Queensland state as the Springboks look to recover from two losses in a row to Australia in the Rugby Championship.
Nienaber has made five changes to the match-day squad for the All Blacks game, with Trevor Nyakane named at loosehead prop for his 50th test. Two of the changes are in the starting lineup and three on the bench.
Lock De Jager has completed his return-to-play protocol after sustaining a concussion against the Wallabies two weeks ago, and reunites with Eben Etzebeth in the second row, which sees Marvin Orie drop out of the squad.
The other change in the starting lineup is at blindside flanker where Kwagga Smith is promoted from the bench in a direct switch with Franco Mostert.
Elton Jantjies and Steyn are the new players among the reserves, with Steyn set to provide cover at center and fullback, and Jantjies at flyhalf, while Herschel Jantjies will cover scrumhalf.
“It’s always a massive task to face the All Blacks,” Nienaber said Tuesday. “They have skillful players who thrive on turnover ball and who know how to capitalize on point-scoring opportunities, so we know that we need to deliver a quality 80-minute performance against them to turn the corner after two disappointing defeats."
New Zealand has won all four Rugby Championship matches this season with bonus points and leads the tournament. The All Blacks, which have won 59 of the 99 matches against South Africa with four draws, are scheduled to name their team on Thursday.
South Africa: Willie le Roux; Sbu Nkosi, Lukhanyo Am, Damian de Allende, Makazole Mapimpi; Handre Pollard, Faf de Klerk; Duane Vermeulen, Kwagga Smith, Siya Kolisi (captain); Lood de Jager, Eben Etzebeth; Frans Malherbe, Bongi Mbonambi, Trevor Nyakane. Reserves: Malcolm Marx, Steven Kitshoff, Vincent Koch, Franco Mostert, Marco van Staden, Herschel Jantjies, Elton Jantjies, Frans Steyn.
More AP sports: https://apnews.com/hub/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports