Springboks change half back pair for Australia

Morne Steyn reached 600 points faster than any other Springbok
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South Africa head coach Allister Coetzee has named his team to play Australia in the Rugby Championship at Loftus Versfeld Pretoria with Morne Steyn at flyhalf and Pat Lambie at fullback.

Former Bulls flyhalf Steyn will return to his old home ground and be partnered by Bulls scrumhalf Rudy Paige who makes his starting debut but on his homeground.

They take over from Faf de Klerk and Elton Jantjies respectively and both players have been dropped from the squad.

Paige, who has made four Test appearances from the Bok bench, is one of three changes made to the Springbok line-up that started the match against the All Blacks two weeks ago.

The starting fullback is Pat Lambie who has only recently made a brief return from injury in the Currie Cup but comes on for his 52nd cap replacing Johan Goosen who drops out of the squad.

Rugby World Cup fullback Willie le Roux has been named on the replacements bench.

The Springbok forward pack that played against the All Blacks in Christchurch was kept unchanged, with hooker Adriaan Strauss again leading out the team after he suffered a knock to the lower back in New Zealand.

Springbok coach Allister Coetzee has reshuffled his bench, which shows five changes from the previous match-23 and included Bongi Mbonambi, Julian Redelinghuys, Lood de Jager, Lionel Mapoe and Le Roux.

Coetzee said the team is looking forward to the Test at Loftus Versfeld, where the Springboks are unbeaten in five previous Rugby Championship Tests against the Wallabies.

“We had a very good training week so far and there is definitely excitement amongst the players to play in front of our South African supporters again as we continue to build continuity with just the three changes to the starting team and an unchanged pack of forwards,” said Coetzee.

“Pat has shown great confidence all week long and we are very pleased to have him back, as well as Lood and Julian, both of who have also shrugged off injuries.

Willie will add a lot of experience on the bench. “The selection of Pat at fullback fits into the way we want to play this weekend, together with his experience, calmness and leadership, which will be invaluable this weekend. Elton and Faf remain an integral part of the squad and both are part of our future plans, but Rudy and Morné deserve an opportunity to start.

“Australia will be determined to build on their previous two wins and they will pose difficult questions to us with their tactical and technical approach. We have our own goals to achieve within the two remaining matches, starting on Saturday when we play the Wallabies in front of a good crowd at Loftus.”

South Africa

15. Pat Lambie , 14. Bryan Habana , 13. Jesse Kriel, 12. Juan de Jongh , 11. Francois Hougaard, 10. Morné Steyn, 9. Rudy Paige, 8. Warren Whiteley, 7. Oupa Mohoje , 6. Francois Louw, 5. Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4. Eben Etzebeth , 3. Vincent Koch, 2. Adriaan Strauss (c), 1. Tendai Mtawarira

Replacements: 16. Bongi Mbonambi, 17. Steven Kitshoff , 18. Julian Redelinghuys , 19. Lood de Jager , 20. Willem Alberts , 21. Jaco Kriel , 22. Lionel Mapoe, 23. Willie le Roux

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