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Goosen to start for Springboks

Johan Goosen will start at flyhalf against the Wallabies in the Rugby Championship on Saturday.

Jean de Villiers and Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer at the press conference in Durban where De Villiers was officially announced as the new captain on 4 June 2012. Picture: Aletta Gardner/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer has picked Johan Goosen to start at flyhalf against the Wallabies at Loftus on Saturday.

The 20-year-old Cheetahs flyhalf replaces Morné Steyn, who drops out of the match 22.

In other changes to the starting line-up from the defeat to New Zealand, Andries Bekker and Eben Etzebeth start as the lock combination.

Frans Steyn is still not cleared to play due to an ankle injury.

If he is not fit, Jaco Taute will start at 13 alongside Jean de Villiers, with Juan de Jongh on the bench.

If Steyn is fit, Taute will drop to the bench and de Jongh will fall out.

Goosen is one of the six players, 21-years-old or younger.

Others in that bracket are Etzebeth, Marcell Coetzee, Pat Lambie, Elton Jantjies and Taute.

There are also changes on the bench.

Coenie Oosthuizen, Flip van der Merwe, Jantjies and Taute have been included.

"I've maintained from the outset that I won't rush Johan, but I feel he is now ready to start a Test for South Africa and I'm excited to see what he can bring," Meyer said.

"Morné (Steyn), in the last four seasons, has played close to 140 matches at Test, Vodacom Super Rugby and Absa Currie Cup level and probably deserves a break, but this also provides a great opportunity for Johan, a player I rate very highly.

"Morné is a quality player and a fighter, and I know he will bounce back."

Commenting on the changes at lock, Meyer said: "It's good to have Eben back with us. Flip played very well in Dunedin, but he's been struggling with an injury this week and that is why we decided to start with him on the bench.

"I also thought Andries did very well when he came on against New Zealand and he is an excellent jumper in the lineout as well."

Meyer said the Springboks were looking forward to Saturday's Test and realised the importance of the match.

"It's great to be back home in South Africa after three tough matches on the road. We were not happy with the results in Mendoza, Perth or Dunedin and we know how big the Test at Loftus Versfeld is on Saturday," said Meyer.

"The Australians will be tough opponents on Saturday. We've now lost our last five Tests against them and need to turn this around."

The Springbok starting XV, with Frans Steyn at inside centre, boasts a combined total of 468 Test caps, with 314 of those belonging to the backs and 154 to the forwards.

Position Name Province Test Caps

15 Zane Kirchner Vodacom Blue Bulls 19

14 Bryan Habana DHL Western Province 81

13 Jean de Villiers (captain) DHL Western Province 79

12 Frans Steyn / Jaco Taute The Sharks / MTN Golden Lions 53 / 0

11 Francois Hougaard Vodacom Blue Bulls 22

10 Johan Goosen Toyota FS Cheetahs 2

9 Ruan Pienaar Ulster, N-Ireland 58

8 Duane Vermeulen DHL Western Province 2

7 Willem Alberts The Sharks 15

6 Francois Louw Bath, England 12

5 Andries Bekker DHL Western Province 27

4 Eben Etzebeth DHL Western Province 6

3 Jannie du Plessis The Sharks 37

2 Adriaan Strauss (vice-captain) Toyota FS Cheetahs 16

1 Tendai Mtawarira The Sharks 39

Replacements

16 Tiaan Liebenberg DHL Western Province 3

17 Coenie Oosthuizen Toyota FS Cheetahs 1

18 Flip van der Merwe Vodacom Blue Bulls 18

19 Marcell Coetzee The Sharks 7

20 Elton Jantjies MTN Golden Lions 0

21 Jaco Taute / Juan de Jongh MTN Golden Lions / DHL WP 0 / 10

22 Pat Lambie The Sharks 15