Bok pack revamped for Albany Test

Thu, 14 Sep 2017 03:09
Large franco mostert springboks h s 800

TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: The Springbok pack has been revamped for the crucial Rugby Championship encounter with the All Blacks in Albany on Saturday.

Franco Mostert and Jean-Luc du Preez are back in the starting XV.

The Lions lock, Mostert, was rested for last week's drawn Test between South Africa and Australia in Perth.

He takes over the No.5 jersey, while Pieter-Steph du Toit is named as the utility forward cover on the bench.

Du Preez has been promoted to the starting team for the second time this season - in the place of the injured Jaco Kriel.
 
The third and final change to the Bok starting XV is in the front row, where Ruan Dreyer comes in at tighthead prop as replacement for the injured Coenie Oosthuizen - who has returned home after suffering a broken arm in the encounter with the Wallabies last Saturday.
 
The rest of the matchday squad remains unchanged, which gives the Bok starting XV a total of 300 Test caps a settled look.

"Pieter-Steph did very well when he stepped in for Franco last weekend in a rotational switch," Springbok coach Allister Coetzee said.
 
"Franco had five superb matches before he was rested last week, he is refreshed again and I expect another strong performance from him - as his high work rate will be needed.
 
"Ruan did well when he replaced Frans Malherbe against a powerful French front row in June and he will start on Saturday, because we want to persist with Trevor Nyakane and Steven Kitshoff as a combination off the bench to make an impact in the second half."
 
According to Coetzee, this contest is the ultimate test for the Springboks, who are the only unbeaten international team in 2017 - after six Tests.
 
"They are the number one side in the world - both in rankings and experience - and there is no greater contest than to play them in New Zealand," Coetzee said.
 
"The rivalry between the two sides are filled with rich history, and on Saturday we get an opportunity to be part of that. They are always at their best when playing the Springboks and we are expecting another huge battle.
 
"There are no room for errors against the All Blacks because they will punish you for every mistake. We prepared well for this challenge and we will get another opportunity to gain more valuable experience as we continue to grow as a team."
 
Eben Etzebeth will earn his 60th Test cap on Saturday and he will captain the side for the fifth time this year.
 
South Africa: 15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Raymond Rhule, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Uzair Cassiem, 7 Jean-Luc du Preez, 6 Siya Kolisi, 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Eben Etzebeth (captain), 3 Ruan Dreyer, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Replacements: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Trevor Nyakane, 19 Lodewyk de Jager, 20 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 21 Francois Hougaard, 22 Handré Pollard, 23 Damian de Allende.

Date: Saturday, September 16
Venue: North Harbour Stadium, Albany
Kick-off: 19.35 (09.35 SA time; 07.35 GMT)
Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)
Assistant referees: Angus Gardner (Australia), Matthew Carley (England)
TMO: George Ayoub (Australia)

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