Springboks make eight changes for All Blacks

South African head coach Heyneke Meyer has made eight changes to his Springbok
team to play New Zealand’s All Blacks with Heinrich Brussow returning to the
starting line up.

Brussow has not started for the Springboks since the 2011 Rugby World Cup,
while Vincent Koch has been included on the bench for what could be his Test
debut for South Africa.

Of the eight changes, three are to the pack and five are on the bench. The
backline is unchanged. Schalk Burger will captain the team from No 8.

Francois Louw will start in the number seven jersey for the injured Marcell
Coetzee in a positional change, with Brussow assuming the openside role.
The only other change to the starting line-up is at lock, where Lood de Jager
takes over from Victor Matfield.

On the bench, Koch will be joined by Cornal Hendricks, Trevor Nyakane, Flip
van der Merwe and Warren Whiteley, who could make his first Test appearance
in South Africa, in front of his home crowd in Johannesburg.

“Injuries have forced our hand a bit, but we’ve stuck with our
planned rotational policy on the bench and it will be great to see what Heinrich,
Vincent and Flip can do,” said Meyer.

“The breakdown battle will again be huge and it will be good to see Heinrich
and Francois play together. They are versatile players and I am convinced they
will combine perfectly.

“Heinrich has been great this season before he got injured and played
his way into contention. As with other players returning from injury in Vodacom
Super Rugby, he deserves an opportunity. We decided it was better to start with
him and use Warren as an impact player later in the match.

“It’s also great to see Flip back in the fold. We had a look at
Pieter-Steph du Toit but he is not yet 100% match-ready, and Franco Mostert
was also discussed but in the end we decided to go with Flip as he will add
valuable experience to our bench.

“We planned to bring Trevor, Warren and Cornal back for this match. Trevor
and Warren have been playing great rugby this season and Cornal is a superb
finisher, as he’s shown so often last year.”

Meyer said that the Springboks faced a huge challenge on Saturday as they
continue to build towards the Rugby World Cup against a fired-up Kiwi side.

“This will be a massive Test – every match against the All Blacks
is,” said Meyer.

“We played some great rugby last weekend, but this week we have to put
in an 80-minute effort. We have to be especially focused in the last 10 minutes,
because New Zealand always finish strongly. They travelled here with us so that
negates any advantage we could’ve had at the end of the match

“The challenge will also be to make a step up in vital areas of the game
and get back on the winning track. By not making too many changes this week,
we’re giving some combinations the opportunity to settle a bit more. Our
youngsters will have to put up their hands on Saturday – I would not have
selected them if I didn’t believe they can do the job.”

South Africa

15 Willie le Roux , 14 JP Pietersen , 13 Jesse Kriel , 12 Damian de Allende
, 11 Bryan Habana , 10 Handre Pollard , 9 Ruan Pienaar (vc) , 8 Schalk Burger
(c) , 7 Francois Louw , 6 Heinrich Brussow , 5 Lood de Jager , 4 Eben Etzebeth
, 3 Jannie du Plessis , 2 Bismarck du Plessis , 1 Tendai Mtawarira

Replacements: , 16 Adriaan Strauss , 17 Trevor Nyakane , 18 Vincent Koch ,
19 Flip van der Merwe , 20 Warren Whiteley , 21 Cobus Reinach , 22 Pat Lambie
, 23 Cornal Hendricks

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