Boks have their Bismarck back
Boks have their Bismarck backSHARE
The return of powerful hooker Bismarck du Plessis is one of five changes to South Africa's matchday 22 for the Test against Scotland in Nelspruit on Saturday.
The are two enforced changes to the starting XV and three on the bench, from the match-23 which beat Italy in the opening round of the four-nations series last weekend.
The two new players in the starting line-up are scrumhalf Ruan Pienaar, who comes in for the injured Jano Vermaak, and loose forward Marcell Coetzee, who replaces Francois Louw – who is getting married this coming weekend.
On the bench, there is a return to Test rugby for Bismarck du Plessis, 10 months after he picked up a serious knee ligament injury against Argentina in Cape Town last year.
Du Plessis, who has come through numerous training sessions with the Springboks and the Sharks, as well as three club matches in Durban, will be joined on the bench by the uncapped duo of Siya Kolisi (loose forward) and Piet van Zyl (scrumhalf).
"It's great to have Bismarck back in the mix, but I'm even more excited about the inclusion of Piet and Siya on the bench," said Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer.
"This time last year, Piet and Siya, along with Arno Botha, were part of the group of six young guns who trained with us and now all three are in the Test match squad. I'm very happy with the progress they've shown in the last 12 months."
Kolisi, Botha and abrasive lock Eben Etzebeth played together for the South African Under-20 team in 2011.
Apart from the experienced Pienaar's inclusion at scrumhalf, the backline is unchanged from the one that scored four of the five tries against Italy last week. Coetzee's inclusion at flank is the only change to the forward pack.
"To have this kind of continuity is good as we prepare for a Test where the focus is on ourselves, and how we want to improve on certain areas from last week where we felt we let ourselves down," said Meyer.
"We respect Scotland, but we've set ourselves some benchmarks which we would like to achieve during this series. Saturday's Test provides another opportunity to reach these aims."
South Africa: 15 Willie le Roux, 14 Bryan Habana, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Jean de Villiers (captain), 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Pierre Spies, 7 Arno Botha, 6 Marcell Coetzee, 5 Juandré Kruger, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Adriaan Strauss, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Replacements: 16 Bismarck du Plessis, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Coenie Oosthuizen, 19 Flip van der Merwe, 20 Siya Kolisi, 21 Piet van Zyl, 22 Pat Lambie, 23 Jan Serfontein.
Date: Saturday, June 15
Venue: Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit
Kick-off: 17.15 (15.15 GMT; 16.15 UK time)
Referee: Romain Poite (France)
Assistant referees: Pascal Gauzère (France), Nigel Hennessy (Wales)
TMO: Gerrie Coetzee (South Africa)