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Lambie returns and halfback reshuffle for Loftus Test

Pat Lambie returns to the team for the first time since he suffered concussion in the series opener.

Springbok flyhalf Patrick Lambie at the Springbok World Cup team announcement. Picture:Anthony Molyneaux/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Springbok coach Allister Coetzee has made three changes to the starting line-up that did battle against New Zealand in Christchurch a fortnight ago for the clash against Australia at Loftus on Saturday.

Scrumhalf Rudy Paige will make his starting debut for the South Africa, his four appearances have all been from the bench. He will be partnered by 64-cap veteran flyhalf Morne Steyn, the pair take over from Faf de Klerk and Elton Jantjies respectively, both of whom started have been incumbents since the second Test against Ireland.

The only other change to the starting line-up sees Pat Lambie return to the team for the first time since he suffered concussion in the series opener against Ireland in June. Lambie will play his 53rd Test at fullback as Johan Goosen (nominated as one of the three best players in the French Top 14) drops out of the match day 23 completely. Coetzee explained the reasons behind his decisions.

"The selection of Pat at fullback fits into the way we want to play this weekend, together with his experience, calmness and leadership, which will be invaluable this weekend. Elton and Faf remain an integral part of the squad and both are part of our future plans, but Rudy and Morné deserve an opportunity to start."

Coetzee has also rearranged his bench, which has five changes from the previous match-23. Bongi Mbonambi, Julian Redelinghuys, Lood de Jager, Lionel Mapoe and Willie le Roux are all included amongst the reserves.

The Boks boast a proud record at Loftus having never lost a Rugby Championed match against the Wallabies in five matches. Coetzee says the team is looking forward to playing at a venue that has been good to them historically.

"We had a very good training week so far and there is definitely excitement amongst the players to play in front of our South African supporters again as we continue to build continuity with just the three changes to the starting team and an unchanged pack of forwards."

South Africa

15 Pat Lambie, 14 Bryan Habana, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Juan de Jongh, 11 Francois Hougaard, 10 Morne Steyn, 9 Rudy Paige, 8 Warren Whiteley, 7 Oupa Mohoje, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Vincent Koch, 2 Adriaan Strauss (captain), 1 Tendai Mtawarira

Reserves: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Julian Redelinghuys, 19 Lood de Jager, 20 Willem Alberts, 21 Jaco Kriel, 22 Lionel Mapoe, 23 Willie le Roux

Australia

15 Israel Folau, 14 Dane Haylett-Petty, 13 Samu Kerevi, 12 Bernard Foley, 11 Reece Hodge, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Will Genia, 8 Sean McMahon, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Dean Mumm, 5 Rob Simmons, 4 Adam Coleman, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Stephen Moore (captain), 1 Scott Sio

Reserves: 16 James Hanson, 17 James Slipper, 18 Tom Robertson, 19 Kane Douglas, 20 Scott Fardy, 21 Lopeti Timani, 22 Nick Phipps, 23 Tevita Kuridrani, 24 Sefa Naivalu