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Meyer makes 8 changes to Boks squad

Of the eight changes, three are to the pack and five are on the bench. The backline remains unchanged.

Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer (L) and team manager Ian Schwartz (R) address the media. Picture: Aletta Gardner/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The Springbok team to face New Zealand for the 90th time shows eight changes from last week's team that did duty against Australia.

Heinrich Brüssow will make his first start for the Springboks since the 2011 Rugby World Cup, while Vincent Koch has been included on the bench for what could be his Test debut for South Africa.

Of the eight changes, three are to the pack and five are on the bench. The backline is unchanged.

Schalk Burger will captain the team from No 8.

Eight changes for Springboks against @allblacks Heinrich Brüssow first start since the 2011 RWC @WorldRugby pic.twitter.com/sOoSgfNUzd

Francois Louw will start in the number seven jersey for the injured Marcell Coetzee in a positional change, with Brüssow assuming the openside role.

The only other change to the starting line-up is at lock, where Lood de Jager takes over from Victor Matfield.

On the bench, Koch will be joined by Cornal Hendricks, Trevor Nyakane, Flip van der Merwe and Warren Whiteley, who could make his first Test appearance in South Africa, in front of his home crowd in Johannesburg.

"Injuries have forced our hand a bit, but we've stuck with our planned rotational policy on the bench and it will be great to see what Heinrich, Vincent and Flip can do," said Meyer.

"The breakdown battle will again be huge and it will be good to see Heinrich and Francois play together. They are versatile players and I am convinced they will combine perfectly.

"Heinrich has been great this season before he got injured and played his way into contention. As with other players returning from injury in Vodacom Super Rugby, he deserves an opportunity. We decided it was better to start with him and use Warren as an impact player later in the match.

"It's also great to see Flip back in the fold. We had a look at Pieter-Steph du Toit but he is not yet 100% match-ready, and Franco Mostert was also discussed but in the end we decided to go with Flip as he will add valuable experience to our bench.

"We planned to bring Trevor, Warren and Cornal back for this match. Trevor and Warren have been playing great rugby this season and Cornal is a superb finisher, as he's shown so often last year."

Meyer said that the Springboks faced a huge challenge on Saturday as they continue to build towards the Rugby World Cup against a fired-up Kiwi side.

"This will be a massive Test, every match against the All Blacks is," said Meyer.

"We played some great rugby last weekend, but this week we have to put in an 80-minute effort. We have to be especially focused in the last 10 minutes, because New Zealand always finish strongly. They travelled here with us so that negates any advantage we could've had at the end of the match.

"The challenge will also be to make a step up in vital areas of the game and get back on the winning track. By not making too many changes this week, we're giving some combinations the opportunity to settle a bit more. Our youngsters will have to put up their hands on Saturday, I would not have selected them if I didn't believe they can do the job."