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Louw the Bok bolter

Wed, 12 Sep 2012 01:30
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Van der Merwe at lock
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The inclusion of Francois Louw on the flank is the most significant change to the Springbok team for their encounter with the All Black on Saturday.

Louw, named in place of Marcell Coetzee, who drops down to the replacement bench, will start a Test for South Africa the first time in more than two years.

His last five appearances, including last week's 19-26 loss to Australia in Perth, were all off the bench. Louw's last start was also against New Zealand, in a Tri-Nations game in Wellington back in July 2010.

The other change to the starting XV is at lock, where Flip van der Merwe comes in for the suspended Eben Etzebeth.

There are four more changes on the bench, where Coetzee joins Dean Greyling, Andries Bekker and Juan de Jongh amongst the replacements.

"The New Zealanders are good on the ground which is why we decided to go for a specialist openside flank in Francois," Bok coach Heyneke Meyer said of Louw's selection.

"Marcell has been very good this season and has played a lot of rugby, but in this match we feel he will be more useful as an impact option."

Jannie du Plessis has been named at tighthead prop despite struggling with a hamstring niggle.

Meyer said the Springboks' medical team is working very hard on the injured players and that Du Plessis will be given until Friday to fully shake off his injury, but if he fails to recover in time, Pat Cilliers will start in the No.3 shirt.

"We will not take any chances with injured players and we have time to get him and Pat [Cilliers] match ready," said Meyer.

Greyling will be on the bench to provide prop cover, while Bekker takes over from Van der Merwe in the No.18 shirt.

De Jongh comes in for Lwazi Mvovo on the bench, after an error-riddled performance by the latter against the Wallabies last week.

The Springboks' starting XV have a combined total of 482 Test caps – 136 in the forwards and 346 in the backline.

South Africa: 15 Zane Kirchner, 14 Bryan Habana, 13 Jean de Villiers (captain), 12 Frans Steyn, 11 Francois Hougaard, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Willem Alberts, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Juandré Kruger, 4 Flip van der Merwe, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Adriaan Strauss, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Replacements: 16 Tiaan Liebenberg, 17 Dean Greyling, 18 Andries Bekker, 19 Marcell Coetzee, 20 Johan Goosen, 21 Juan de Jongh, 22 Pat Lambie.

Date: Saturday, September 15
Venue: Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin
Kick-off: 19.35 (07.35 GMT)
Referee: George Clancy (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Romain Poite (France), James Leckie (Australia)
TMO: Vinny Munro at New Zealand)

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