The Springbok side to face the Wallabies on Saturday at Loftus, has been announced.
Two late changes have been made to the Springbok 22, with Francois Steyn failing a late fitness test and Coenie Oosthuizen also not fit enough to man the bench. Jean de Villiers moves to inside centre and Jaco Taute will make his Springbok debut at outside centre. PatCilliers replaces Coenie Oosthuizen on the bench.
It took guts and determination from Heyneke Meyer and clearly he has the best interests of Springbok Rugby as well as the individual interests of the players at heart, when making some hard and big decisions.
Johan Goosen starts at flyhalf and Andries Bekker starts at No 5 lock in place of Juandré Kruger. Elton Jantjies is on the bench and Morné Steyn drops out of the match 22 alltogether.
Flip van der Merwe moves down to the bench after a strong game against the New Zealand All Blacks, but one has to mention that Flip is carrying a niggling injury and did not practice with the squad on Monday and Tuesday.
Springbok team: 15 Zane Kirchner, 14 Bryan Habana, 13 Jaco Taute, 12 Jean de Villiers (Captain), 11 Francois Hougaard, 10 Johan Goosen, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Willem Alberts, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Andries Bekker, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Adriaan Strauss, 1 Tendai ‘Beast’ Mtawarira
Replacements: 16 Tiaan Liebenberg, 17 Pat Cilliers, 18 Flip van der Merwe, 19 Marcell Coetzee, 20 Elton Jantjies, 21 Juan de Jongh, 22 Patrick Lambie.
A slightly surprising move was to initially select Coenie Oosthuizen on the bench, despite only having played 35 minutes of Currie Cup rugby after returning from injury and then sitting out of Monday’s practice to to some general stiffness. As we now know, Pat Cilliers has now replaced Coenie on the bench as prop cover.
Eben Etzebeth returns to the squad after serving his one week suspension for the head butt on Nathan Sharpe.
Patrick Lambie will have to be content to warm the bench again after there was widespread calls for his inclusion at fullback in place of Zane Kirchner.