Marx set to face All Blacks

Wed, 14 Sep 2016 17:04
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TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Springbok coach Allister Coetzee has made two changes to his starting XV to face the All Blacks in Christchurch on Saturday.

However, the most significant selection was on the bench - where hooker Malcolm Marx is set to make his debut against the world's top-ranked team.

Pieter-Steph du Toit and Vincent Koch were included in the starting line-up.

Du Toit replaces Lodewyk de Jager, who sustained a severely bruised knee last week against the Wallabies in Brisbane.

Koch gets the nod ahead of Lourens Adriaanse, who started last week in Australia.

The rest of the Springbok starting line-up is unchanged.

Veteran flank Francois Louw will play in his 50th Test for South Africa.

There are however several changes on the bench.

The promising Lions hooker, Marx, gets a spot amongst the replacements for what is likely to be his Test debut.

Willem Alberts fills the gap on the bench left by Du Toit's promotion to the starting XV.

Amongst the replacement backline players, Damian de Allende swaps places with Lionel Mapoe.

"Malcolm has huge potential and we have a plan for him and Bongi Mbonambi, because of the retirement by [captain] Adriaan Strauss at the end of the season," the Bok coach, Coetzee, said.

"Malcolm now gets a chance on the reserve bench and it would be great to see him in action, should he get the chance to go onto the park.

"I have decided on a six-two split on the bench again as I believe Willem [Alberts] and Jaco [Kriel] will both make big impacts when they enter the field of play.

"I decided to swap Damian with Lionel to ensure we have cover for the inside centre position," said Coetzee.

Du Toit will resume his provincial partnership with his Stormers lock partner Eben Etzebeth in his first start against the All Blacks.

Coetzee said the Springboks know they will face a formidable and in-form All Black team on Saturday.

"Each match between these two traditional rugby rivals is always tough, no matter what the circumstances are, and Saturday's Test is bound to be another tremendous battle," said Coetzee.

"Numerous of our players will play in their first Test against the All Blacks and there's a good deal of excitement in that regard.

"We know that our discipline was not on par against the Wallabies in Brisbane, and we have to show a big improvement on several fronts. Our defence will have to be solid for the full duration of the match, because the All Blacks have the game breakers that will punish you for any defensive lapse."

Louw, who made his Test debut against Wales in 2010, will earn his 50th cap for the Springboks on Saturday, while Bryan Habana will play in a landmark 120th Test for the Springboks, and in doing so he will set a new world record for international appearances by a wing.

The encounter between the two traditional rugby rivals marks the Springboks' 800th match.

The Boks have played in 458 Tests since the first tour by the British Isles in 1891, and 341 official non-Test matches, the first of which was played on tour to Britain in 1906.

South Africa: 15 Johan Goosen, 14 Bryan Habana, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Juan de Jongh, 11 Francois Hougaard, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Francois de Klerk, 8 Warren Whiteley, 7 Teboho Mohoje, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Vincent Koch, 2 Adriaan Strauss (captain), 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Replacements: 16 Malcolm Marx, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Lourens Adriaanse, 19 Franco Mostert, 20 Willem Alberts, 21 Jaco Kriel, 22 Morné, 23 Damian de Allende.

Date: Saturday, September 17
Venue: AMI Stadium, Christchurch
Kick-off: 19.35 (09.35 SA time; 07.35 GMT)
Referee: Angus Gardner (Australia)
Assistant referees: Pascal Gauzère (France), Marius Mitrea (Italy)
TMO: George Ayoub (Australia)

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