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Schalk Burger back in Springbok starting line-up

Heyneke Meyer has made five changes to the Springboks game against Australia.

FILE: Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer (L) and team manager Ian Schwartz (R) address the media in Cape Town on 8 July 2015 after announcing the squad to face the World XV. Picture: Aletta Gardner/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Springboks coach Heyneke Meyer has included Schalk Burger in the starting line-up for Saturday's Rugby Championship opener against Australia at the Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane.

Burger's inclusion at No 8 is after a great performance as replacement against the World XV last weekend in Cape Town.

This is one of five changes to the Springboks' match-23 for this match.

The other four changes are on the bench, where props Heinke van der Merwe and Frans Malherbe, as well as Lood de Jager and Lwazi Mvovo have been included.

Meyer said the changes were all part of the plan to rotate players in the build-up to the Rugby World Cup.

"We're expecting a massive contest for the ball on the ground and with Schalk next to Francois Louw and Marcell Coetzee, as well as Bismarck du Plessis, we've got a lot of players who are very good at the breakdowns.

"Warren Whiteley played very well last weekend, but he knows exactly where he stands and will play again for the Boks this season. For this match though, we decided to go with this specific loose trio."

He says even though changes were needed in the team, it's important that they keep to their shape and momentum.

"I've said last week that we will make changes, but it's also important to keep some form of momentum. Saturday's match is going to be massive in the context of our season and we have to ensure we tick the right boxes.

"It will be good to see what Heinke, Frans, Lood and Lwazi can do from the bench, while we've also opted to keep continuity in the starting team. There will most likely be changes for every match this season as we keep one eye on the World Cup.

The Boks have only beaten the Wallabies once at Suncorp Stadium, two years ago when they won by 38-12, which is South Africa's biggest away victory ever.

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