Springboks shuffle forwards for New Zealand test

South Africa have made two changes to the forward pack for their match against New Zealand on Saturday.

South Africa's Springbok Francois Louw. Picture: AFP.

WELLINGTON - South Africa have made two changes to the forward pack for their Rugby Championship test against New Zealand on Saturday, bringing in lock Flip van der Merwe and flanker Francois Louw as they look to hit back from their loss to Australia.

Van der Merwe replaces Eben Etzebeth, who was suspended for two weeks for head-butting Wallabies lock Nathan Sharpe in their 26-19 defeat in Perth on Saturday, while Louw is promoted from the reserves in place of Marcell Coetzee on the blindside.

Prop Jannie du Plessis has been retained in the starting side despite struggling with a hamstring injury and will be given until Friday to shake off the niggle, the team said in a media release on Wednesday.

Coetzee is relegated to the bench, while lock Andreas Bekker, prop Dean Greyling and back Juan de Jongh have been called up as replacements.

Team: 15-Zane Kirchner, 14-Bryan Habana, 13-Jean de Villiers (capt), 12-Frans Steyn, 11-Francois Hougaard, 10-Morne Steyn, 9-Ruan Pienaar, 8-Duane Vermeulen, 7-Willem Alberts, 6-Francois Louw, 5-Juandre Kruger, 4-Flip van der Merwe, 3-Jannie du Plessis, 2-Adriaan Strauss, 1-Tendai Mtawarira.

Replacements: 16-Tiaan Liebenberg, 17-Dean Greyling, 18-Andries Bekker, 19-Marcell Coetzee, 20-Johan Goosen, 21-Juan de Jongh, 22-Pat Lambie