Gelant in line for test debut as Boks make 4 changes for Italy

The Boks will be eager to revenge their 20-18 loss to the Italians during last year’s Northern Hemisphere tour and know that a convincing victory in Padova is of paramount importance.

French Barbarians Arthur Bonneval (2nd-L) vies for the ball with South Africa's Warrick Gelant (2nd-R) during the rugby union test match between French Barbarians and South Africa on June 16, 2017, in Durban. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - Warrick Gelant will make his Springbok debut from the bench should he run onto the pitch against Italy in Padova on Saturday.

Springbok coach Allister Coetzee is forced to make two changes to his run-on side from the narrow 18-17 victory against France on Saturday.

Pieter-Steph du Toit has gone through the concussion protocols and replaces Siya Kolisi who is back in South Africa for the birth of his second child.

The other change on the run-on side comes at hooker, where Malcom Marx has failed to recover from his shoulder injury and is replaced by Bongi Mbonambi who makes his first start in a Boks jersey.

Coetzee has heeded the call to blood some new talent this week, with the inclusion of Warrick Gelant on the bench, if he gets the opportunity to get on the park, will earn his first Springbok cap. Chilli-boy Ralepele comes into the match day squad to cover the hooker position from the bench, while Damian de Allende drops out of the matchday squad completely.

Coetzee says that he is excited to see Gelant in action.

“Warrick is in good form and his work rate during training has been impressive. I know he will add value and I am very excited about the possibility of seeing him in action”

The Boks will be eager to revenge their 20-18 loss to the Italians during last year’s Northern Hemisphere tour and know that a convincing victory in Padova is of paramount importance.

A good performance might also ease the pressure on Coetzee, who has been under considerable pressure from the South African rugby public since the record loss to Ireland in Dublin two weeks ago.

Eben Etzebeth will once again lead the side, after shrugging off a lower leg injury he picked up against France. Kick off in Padova is at 16h00.

The full squad for Saturday is as follows:
15. Andries Coetzee
14. Dillyn Leyds
13. Jesse Kriel
12. Francois Venter
11. Courtnall Skosan
10. Handré Pollard
9. Ross Cronje
8. Duane Vermeulen
7. Pieter-Steph du Toit
6. Francois Louw,
5. Lood de Jager,
4. Eben Etzebeth
3. Wilco Louw
2. Bongi Mbonambi
1. Tendai Mtawarira

Replacements:
16. Chiliboy Ralepelle
17. Steven Kitshoff
18. Trevor Nyakane
19. Franco Mostert
20. Dan du Preez
21. Rudy Paige
22. Elton Jantjies
23. Warrick Gelant