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Nienaber drops two players in tweaked Boks side for Wallabies

By Ian Cameron
(Photo by Jono Searle/Getty Images)

South Africa head coach Jacques Nienaber has tweaked his Springboks’ side for their first Test with Australia in Adelaide.

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Warrick Gelant has been given the nod to start on the right wing, while Faf de Klerk is recalled at scrumhalf in the only two changes to his starting team from their defeat to All Blacks at Ellis Park.

Gelant replaces Jesse Kriel on the wing, while De Klerk has completed his return to play protocol after missing the second Test against New Zealand due to concussion. He replaces Jaden Hendrikse.

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Nienaber also made three changes to the replacements bench, which features a split of five forwards and three backs, where Hendrikse takes over from Herschel Jantjies, while Elton Jantjies will provide flyhalf cover and Frans Steyn additional cover at the back.

Fullback Willie le Roux and No.8 Jasper Wiese have been dropped from the matchday 23.

“This is a very important clash for us to set the tone for our Castle Lager Rugby Championship tour and we feel that continuity in selection is important to build momentum in our campaign,” said Nienaber.

“Warrick was in good form for the DHL Stormers earlier this season and he has been working hard at training, so we thought it would be good to give him a run on the wing. He also combined well with Damian Willemse in the Vodacom United Rugby Championship, so we are excited to see what they offer us in the match.

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“Faf, meanwhile, is back from concussion and his experience will be important in this game.

“We also feel it is important to give the likes of Ox (Nche), Joseph (Dweba) and Duane (Vermeulen) another opportunity to further build combinations and give them valuable game time as we build toward the Rugby World Cup next year.”

Nienaber has gone for a 5-3 split on the bench. “We looked at what Australia will bring to the game, and that combined with our need to give Elton and Frans Steyn some vital game time, prompted us to select five forwards and three backs on the bench.

“With Franco (Mostert) and Kwagga (Smith) on the bench, we will have cover at lock and looseforward, while Frans Steyn’s versatility will also be handy as he can cover centre and fullback. These changes obviously mean that Willie, Jasper and Herschel lose out, but we know what we have in them and what they bring to the team.”

“Australia are always a tough force at home and the fact that we haven’t beaten them here since 2013 is evidence of that.

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“Much like us, they will also want to bounce back after going down against Argentina, so we expect them to come out firing. The fact that this will be the first Test between the teams in Adelaide will serve as extra motivation for both teams this weekend, so we are preparing for another epic encounter against them.”

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“We had a thorough review of our last match against New Zealand, and we have identified the areas of our game in which we need improve. We know we need to make a big step-up in the quality of our performance to start the tour on a positive note, and that is a big objective for us this weekend.”

Springbok team to face Australia in Adelaide:

15 – Damian Willemse (DHL Stormers) – 20 caps, 12 pts (1t, 2c, 1p)
14 – Warrick Gelant (Racing 92) – 10 caps, 15 pts (3t)
13 – Lukhanyo Am (Cell C Sharks) – 30 caps, 30 pts (6t)
12 – Damian de Allende (Wild Knights) – 62 caps, 35 pts (7t)
11 – Makazole Mapimpi (Cell C Sharks) – 29 caps, 105 pts (21t)
10 – Handre Pollard (Leicester Tigers) – 64 caps, 662 pts (7t, 90c, 144p, 5d)
9 – Faf de Klerk (Yokohama Canon Eagles) – 39 caps, 25 pts (5t)
8 – Duane Vermeulen (Ulster) – 62 caps, 15 pts (3t)
7 – Pieter-Steph du Toit (Toyota Verblitz) – 62 caps, 25 pts (5t)
6 – Siya Kolisi (captain, Cell C Sharks) – 67 caps, 35 pts (7t)
5 – Lood de Jager (Wild Knights) – 60 caps, 25 pts (5t)
4 – Eben Etzebeth (Cell C Sharks) – 102 caps, 15 pts (3t)
3 – Frans Malherbe (DHL Stormers) – 50 caps, 5 pts (1t)
2 – Joseph Dweba (DHL Stormers) – 3 caps, 0pts
1 – Ox Nche (Cell C Sharks) – 11 caps, 0pts

Replacements:

16 – Malcolm Marx (Kubota Spears) – 51 caps, 55 pts (11t)
17 – Steven Kitshoff (DHL Stormers) – 63 caps, 5 pts (1t)
18 – Vincent Koch (Wasps) 36 caps, 0 pts
19 – Franco Mostert (Honda Heat) – 55 caps, 5pts (1t)
20 – Kwagga Smith (Shizuoka Blue Revs) – 23 caps, 5 pts (1t)
21 – Jaden Hendrikse (Cell C Sharks) – 6 caps, 5 pts (1t)
22 – Elton Jantjies (NTT Docomo Red Hurricanes) – 45 caps, 329 pts (2t, 65c, 62p, 1d)
23 – Frans Steyn (Toyota Cheetahs) – 74 caps, 150 pts (11t, 7c, 24p, 3d)

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Comments

1 Comment
N
NJ 659 days ago

Gelant makes our backline look more imposing, no offense to Kolbe. This backline looks both exciting and menacing. Lets do this, should be a cracker of a test! #RWC950719

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