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South Africa bolster pack for crucial second Test against Lions

By Sam Smith
Springboks prop Steven Kitshoff. (Photo by Jono Searle/Getty Images)

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Jacques Nienaber has chosen to bulk up his pack this Saturday to keep the series against the British & Irish Lions alive.

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Props Steven Kitshoff and Frans Malherbe will start in Cape Town after being part of the ‘Bomb Squad’ last week, with Trevor Nyakane starting on the bench alongside Vincent Koch, who replaces the injured Ox Nché. Kitshoff will win his 50th cap this week.

Jasper Wiese also starts at No8 instead of Kwagga Smith, who replaces Rynhardt Elstadt on the bench, while Marco van Staden has swapped with Elton Jantjies from last week’s squad to make a 6-2 split on the bench.

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The Springboks fell to a 22-17 loss to the Lions last Saturday despite dominating the first half and holding a 12-3 lead at half-time. However, they fell away in the second half as their penalty count increased, and Nienaber clearly seeks to maintain dominance up front this week.

“This is a massive game for us; it is do or die in order to stay in the race to win the series and we selected a team that offers continuity in selection, but also that we thought would be the best suited to achieve the objectives we have set for this match,” said Nienaber.

“Ox did well in the scrums last week and has been ruled out due to injury, but fortunately we have a world class player in Steven who can step into the starting team. The fact that this will mark his 50th Test will make this occasion even more important for him.”

On the 6-2 split on the bench, Nienaber said: “We have had an extra week on the training field after a few disruptive weeks in the build-up to the opening Test, so we are confident that the players in the squad will be able to deliver on the physicality and grit that will be required in this match.

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“We need to be better in every area of the game this week, and the set pieces will be crucial in laying the foundations we need to execute our game plan effectively.

“We also spoke about our discipline and the aerial battle as a team, and we intend to work as hard as possible at training this week to correct the errors that cost us last week.”

Springbok team to face the British & Irish Lions at Cape Town Stadium:

15 – Willie le Roux (Toyota Verblitz)
14 – Cheslin Kolbe (Toulouse)
13 – Lukhanyo Am (Cell C Sharks)
12 – Damian de Allende (Munster)
11 – Makazole Mapimpi (Cell C Sharks)
10 – Handré Pollard (vice-captain, Montpellier)
9 – Faf de Klerk (Sale Sharks)
8 – Jasper Wiese (Leicester Tigers)
7 – Pieter-Steph du Toit (DHL Stormers)
6 – Siya Kolisi (captain, Cell C Sharks)
5 – Franco Mostert (Honda Heat)
4 – Eben Etzebeth (Toulon)
3 – Frans Malherbe (DHL Stormers)
2 – Bongi Mbonambi (DHL Stormers)
1 – Steven Kitshoff (DHL Stormers)

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Replacements:
16 – Malcolm Marx (Kubota Spears)
17 – Trevor Nyakane (Vodacom Bulls)
18 – Vincent Koch (Saracens)
19 – Lood de Jager (Sale Sharks)
20 – Marco van Staden (Vodacom Bulls)
21 – Kwagga Smith (Yamaha Júbilo)
22 – Herschel Jantjies (DHL Stormers)
23 – Damian Willemse (DHL Stormers)

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South Africa bolster pack for crucial second Test against Lions

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