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Springboks make four XV changes, bench Eben, go for six/two split

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Clement Mahoudeau/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

Jacques Nienaber has reacted to the latest defeat for his Springboks side by naming a team to take on Italy this Saturday in Genoa that shows four changes – three in the pack – following the 26-30 loss to France in Marseille.

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The reshuffle begins in the second row with Salmaan Moerat coming in for the benched Eben Etzebeth. He will be partnered by the promoted Marvin Orie while Franco Mostert, last weekend’s Etzebeth lock partner, is switched to openside to take the place of the red-carded Pieter-Steph du Toit.

There is also a change at No8 as Jasper Wiese is recalled, with Kwagga Smith dropping to a bench where this week there is a six/two forwards/backs spilt following the five/three tactic versus the French.

The only change in personnel in the back line is the naming of Andre Esterhuizen in the midfield in place of Jesse Kriel. Esterhuizen, though, will run at inside centre with Damian de Allende switching into Kriel’s outside centre channel.

On the bench, Evan Roos is included at the expense of Dean Fourie while the demoted Smith is accommodated as the sixth sub forward this Saturday by the exclusion of winger Makazole Mapimpi, who was the third backs sub in Marseille.

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“A couple of players have been training very hard in the last few weeks and deserve a chance to start, and Lood’s injury and Pieter-Steph’s disciplinary hearing opened the door for us to give them an opportunity,” explained Nienaber about his latest Springboks team selection. “Salmaan and Marvin are both Stormers players, so they have been playing together for a while and they are very hungry for game time. We are looking forward to what they bring.

“It’s also good to have Jasper back against the physical Italian pack, and we know that Kwagga will spark something different when he takes the field. Evan also gets a chance off the bench and his skills will work well with Kwagga’s in the loose trio, while Manie earns another run after making his debut last week.

“Manie’s versatility will also come in handy, as he can cover most positions in the backline. With Cobus on the bench and several experienced backs in the backline, he will have enough guidance to be able to play his game.”

Springboks (vs Italy, Saturday)
15 – Willie le Roux (Toyota Verblitz) – 81 caps, 65 pts (13t)
14 – Cheslin Kolbe (Toulon) – 22 caps, 61 pts (10t, 1c, 3p)
13 – Damian de Allende (Wild Knights) – 68 caps, 45 pts (9t)
12 – Andre Esterhuizen (Harlequins) – 10 caps, 0pts
11 – Kurt-Lee Arendse (Vodacom Bulls) – 5 caps, 20 pts (4t)
10 – Damian Willemse (DHL Stormers) – 25 caps, 25 pts (1t, 4c, 4p)
9 – Faf de Klerk (Canon Eagles) – 44 caps, 30 pts (5t, 1c, 1p)
8 – Jasper Wiese (Leicester Tigers) – 19 caps, 5 pts (1t)
7 – Franco Mostert (Honda Heat) – 61 caps, 15 pts (3t)
6 – Siya Kolisi (captain, Cell C Sharks) – 73 caps, 45 pts (9t)
5 – Marvin Orie (DHL Stormers) – 8 caps, 0 pts
4 – Salmaan Moerat (DHL Stormers) – 2 caps, 0 pts
3 – Frans Malherbe (DHL Stormers) – 56 caps, 5 pts (1t)
2 – Bongi Mbonambi (Cell C Sharks) – 53 caps, 55 pts (11t)
1 – Ox Nche (Cell C Sharks) – 17 caps, 0 pts

Replacements:
16 – Malcolm Marx (Kubota Spears) – 57 caps, 65 pts (13t)
17 – Steven Kitshoff (DHL Stormers) – 69 caps, 5 pts (1t)
18 – Vincent Koch (Stade Francais) – 40 caps, 0 pts
19 – Eben Etzebeth (Cell C Sharks) – 108 caps, 15 pts (3t)
20 – Kwagga Smith (Shizuoka Blue Revs) – 29 caps, 15 pts (3t)
21 – Evan Roos (DHL Stormers) – 1 cap, 0 pts
22 – Cobus Reinach (Montpellier) – 22 caps, 40 pts (8t)
23 – Manie Libbok (DHL Stormers) – 1 cap, 0 pts

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