Louw, Leyds and Cronje return

Thu, 28 Sep 2017 12:03

TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: There is a first Test start for Dillyn Leyds and Francois Louw's inclusion in the back row for South Africa.

Those are two of the four changes to the Springbok squad to face the Wallabies in Saturday's important Rugby Championship match in Bloemfontein.
 
The experienced flank, Louw, is set to earn his 53rd Test cap for the Boks, while Leyds will make his fourth appearance and first start on the wing - in place of Raymond Rhule.
 
Scrumhalf Ross Cronje is over the illness that forced him to withdraw from the New Zealand Test in Albany a fortnight ago.

Hooker Mahlatse Ralepelle has been included in the matchday 23 for the first time since the home Test against Italy in June 2013.

The experienced Sharks hooker got the nod over Bongi Mbonambi, who played off the bench in the previous seven Tests this year.
 
According to Bok coach Allister Coetzee, the inclusion of the seasoned Louw will be valuable to the team.
 
"Francois showed this week that he is in a great condition and he brings a lot of experience to the team," Coetzee said.
 
"I believe his strength is playing towards the ball, and he is renowned for making good decisions at the defensive breakdown.

"As a result Jean-Luc [du Preez] moves back to the bench, from where he can make a telling impact."
 
On Leyds' inclusion, Coetzee said: "It's now the right time to give Dillyn a starting opportunity as I know what I have in Raymond.
 
"Dillyn has played consistently well in the Currie Cup and deserves a chance.

"Raymond stays part of our plan and will join up with the squad next week in Cape Town again."
 
Cronje takes over the scrumhalf duties from Francois Hougaard, who started against New Zealand, while Rudy Paige will provide No.9 cover off the bench.
 
"It is great to resume the continuity between Ross and Elton Jantjies as a halfback combination. All three of our scrumhalves looked sharp during training this week," said Coetzee.
 
The Springbok coach said he is expecting his team to deliver a vastly improved performance against Australia this weekend.
 
"Our preparations have gone well this week and the players are excited and eager to improve on our previous performance," said Coetzee.
 
"The Wallabies are a good side with many dangerous and classy players across the board. And they would have gained a lot of confidence from their previous outings."
 
South Africa: 15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Dillyn Leyds, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Uzair Cassiem, 7 Francois Louw, 6 Siya Kolisi, 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Ruan Dreyer, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Replacements: 16 Mahlatse Ralepelle, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Trevor Nyakane, 19 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 20 Jean-Luc du Preez, 21 Rudy Paige, 22 Handré Pollard, 23 Damian de Allende.

Date: Saturday, September 30
Venue: Free State stadium, Bloemfontein
Kick-off: 17.00 (15.00 GMT; 01.00; Sunday, October 1; AEST)
Referee: Ben O'Keeffe (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Jérôme Garcès (France), Shuhei Kubo (Japan)
TMO: Rowan Kitt (England)

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