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Springboks make 2 XV changes for All Blacks and rejig bomb squad

By Liam Heagney

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Jacques Nienaber has made two changes to his Springboks XV for Saturday’s Rugby Championship clash versus the All Blacks in Townsville following last weekend’s round four loss to the Wallabies in Brisbane. Lood de Jager, who was ruled out last time due to concussion, is recalled for Marvin Orie while Kwagga Smith is promoted from the replacements in place of the benched Franco Mostert.

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The Springboks coach has also decided to reconfigure the shape of his bomb squad bench, going for a split of five forwards and three backs on this occasion rather than the usual six/two split. Following criticism of the excluded Damian Willemse, Elton Jantjies and Frans Steyn are the new players amongst the replacements.

With Jasper Wiese’s fate yet to be decided following a delay in his disciplinary hearing for foul play at a ruck versus the Wallabies, the Springboks decided to go with one forward less in reserve given that the dropped Mostert can cover both back row and lock. Meanwhile, Cheslin Kolbe (wing) is still recovering from the knock he took to the leg before the first Test against Australia but could be available for round six of the Championship.

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How the Springboks can bounce back for their 100th Test match versus the All Blacks
Video Spacer
How the Springboks can bounce back for their 100th Test match versus the All Blacks

“It’s always a massive task to face the All Blacks,” said Nienaber. “They have skilful players who thrive on turnover ball and who know how to capitalise 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.

“Experience will be vital to ensure that we remain focused and calm throughout the match, and players such as Elton and Frans will bring that when they take the field. They have both played and won against the All Blacks, but they will also bring a set of different skills.

“Lood also boasts 51 Test caps, which will be valuable in this match, while has Kwagga has faced them before as well, which gives us a chance to give Franco a well-deserved opportunity to be managed carefully this week after a physically taxing load since the season started. Both Elton and Frans have been training very well. They have also been in our structures for years and have performed well for the team in high-pressure matches, so we are keen to see what dynamic they will bring to the game.”

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SPRINGBOKS (vs All Blacks, Saturday)
15 – Willie le Roux (Toyota Verblitz) – 68 caps, 60 pts (12t)
14 – Sbu Nkosi (Cell C Sharks) – 14 caps, 40 pts (8t)
13 – Lukhanyo Am (Cell C Sharks) – 21 caps, 25 pts (5t)
12 – Damian de Allende (Munster) – 53 caps, 30 pts (6t)
11 – Makazole Mapimpi (Cell C Sharks) – 20 caps, 80 pts (16t)
10 – Handré Pollard (vice-captain, Montpellier) – 55 caps, 544 pts (6t, 83c, 112p, 4d)
9 – Faf de Klerk (Sale Sharks) – 34 caps, 25 pts (5t)
8 – Duane Vermeulen (Vodacom Bulls) – 56 caps, 15 pts (3t)
7 – Kwagga Smith (Yamaha Júbilo) – 14 caps, 5 pts (1t)
6 – Siya Kolisi (captain, Cell C Sharks) – 58 caps, 30 pts (6t)
5 – Lood de Jager (Sale Sharks) – 51 caps, 25 pts (5t)
4 – Eben Etzebeth (Toulon) – 92 caps, 15 pts (3t)
3 – Frans Malherbe (DHL Stormers) – 45 caps, 5 pts (1t)
2 – Bongi Mbonambi (DHL Stormers) – 43 caps, 45 pts (9t)
1 – Trevor Nyakane (Vodacom Bulls) – 49 caps, 5pts (1t)
Replacements:
16 – Malcolm Marx (Kubota Spears) – 41 caps, 45 pts (9t)
17 – Steven Kitshoff (DHL Stormers) – 54 caps, 5pts (1t)
18 – Vincent Koch (Saracens) – 26 caps, 0 pts
19 – Franco Mostert (Honda Heat) – 46 caps, 5pts (1t)
20 – Marco van Staden (Leicester Tigers) – 8 caps, 0 pts
21 – Herschel Jantjies (DHL Stormers) – 16 caps, 25 pts (5t)
22 – Elton Jantjies (NTT Docomo Red Hurricanes) – 40 caps, 300 pts (2t, 64c, 54p)
23 – Frans Steyn (Toyota Cheetahs) – 69 caps, 141pts (11t, 7c, 21p, 3d)

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Springboks make 2 XV changes for All Blacks and rejig bomb squad

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