Springbok coach Allister Coetzee unveiled a mild shuffle on Wednesday night when he named his team to play the Wallabies in the Rugby Championship in Brisbane tomorrow.
He introduced tighthead prop Lourens Adriaanse, left wing Francois Hougaard and centres Juan de Jongh and Jesse Kriel as new starters. Bryan Habana moves to right wing for injured Ruan Combrinck. Hooker Adriaan Strauss, who announced his retirement from Test rugby at the end of the year, was retained as captain.
Biggest shift came in the midfield with underperforming Damian de Allende and Lionel Mapoe jettisoned.
“Looking at the impact that Juan and Jesse made when they came off the bench, I think now is the time to give them a starting opportunity,” said Coetzee. “Juan’s ability to organise at 12, and his calmness in that role, will help guide Elton (Jantjies) in his flyhalf duties.”
Hougaard will provide cover for the scrumhalf with the Boks opting for only two backs on the bench.
“After looking at the Australia versus New Zealand matches . . . we feel that a fresh tight five can sustain the physical intensity,” said Coetzee.
Tomorrow, 24-year old Eben Etzebeth will become the youngest Springbok to play in 50 Tests and Tendai Mtawarira the most-capped Bok prop.
The Bok team is: Johan Goosen; Bryan Habana, Jesse Kriel, Juan de Jongh, Francois Hougaard, Elton Jantjies, Faf de Klerk, Warren Whiteley, Oupa Mohoje, Francois Louw, Lood de Jager, Eben Etzebeth, Lourens Adriaanse, Adriaan Strauss, Tendai Mtawarira. Substitutes: Bongi Mbonambi, Steven Kitshoff, Trevor Nyakane, Franco Mostert, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Jaco Kriel, Morné Steyn, Lionel Mapoe.