World champion South Africa made three changes to the starting lineup for a must-see second test against the British and Irish Lions in Cape Town on Saturday.
Next come props Steven Kitshoff and Frans Malherbe and number eight Jasper Wiese in place of injured Ox Nche, Trevor Nyakane and Kwagga Smith.
Nche was ruled out with a sore neck while Nyakane and Smith are among the eight substitutes, where there are also changes.
Malherbe and Nyakane exchange places, Vincent Koch replaces Kitshoff, flanker Marco van Staden is promoted at the expense of Rynhardt Elstadt and opener Elton Jantjies gives up to welcome Smith.
After using a 5-3 front-back score in the first test, which they lost 17-22 after leading by nine points at halftime, Springboks coach Jacques Nienaber moved up to 6-2 .
South Africa had six forwards on the bench throughout Japan’s triumphant Rugby World Cup 2019 campaign, culminating with a big win over England in the final.
South Africa must win on Saturday to maintain hope of a ninth victory in 14 test series against the tourists since they first met 130 years ago.
“It’s a huge game for us – it’s do or die to stay in the race to win the series,” Nienaber said.
“We have selected a team that offers continuity, but which is also best suited to achieve the goals we have set for this match.
“Ox did well in the scrum last week and was ruled out due to injury, but we have a world class player in Steven who can get into the starting squad.
– 50th test of Kitshoff –
“The fact that this will mark his 50th test will make the occasion even more important for him,” he said of the lost head.
Referring to the 6-2 bench, Nienaber said: “We had an extra week on the training ground after a few disruptive weeks in preparation for the opening test.
“We are now confident that the players on the team will be able to provide the physique and courage that will be required in this game.
“We need to be better in all areas of the game this week, and the set pieces will be crucial in laying the foundation we need to effectively execute our game plan.
“We also talked about our discipline and air combat as a team, and we plan to work as hard as possible in training this week to correct the mistakes that cost us last week. “
Lions coach Warren Gatland also made three changes to his squad with center Chris Harris, scrum half Conor Murray and mainstay Mako Vunipola replacing Elliot Daly, Ali Price and Rory Sutherland.
The last game in a series taking place behind closed doors due to the coronavirus pandemic is also scheduled at Cape Town Stadium on August 7.
South Africa: Willie le Roux; Cheslin Kolbe, Lukhanyo Am, Damian de Allende, Makazole Mapimpi; Handre Pollard, Faf de Klerk; Jasper Wiese, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Siya Kolisi (captain); Franco Mostert, Eben Etzebeth; Frans Malherbe, Bongi Mbonambi, Steven Kitshoff
Substitutions: Malcolm Marx, Trevor Nyakane, Vincent Koch, Lood de Jager, Marco van Staden, Kwagga Smith, Herschel Jantjies, Damian Willemse
Coach: Jacques Nienaber (RSA)
© 2021 AFP