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Changes to Bok side won’t disrupt momentum: Erasmus

The Springboks have started life under Rassie Erasmus with two wins from three Test matches.

FILE: Springbok director of rugby Rassie Erasmus. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Springbok director of rugby Rassie Erasmus believes the five changes he has made to the run on team to face England in the third and final Test match won’t disrupt the momentum of the side.

The Springboks have started life under Erasmus with two wins from three Test matches, with the two wins coming against England in Johannesburg and Bloemfontein, effectively sealing the three-Test series with a game to spare in Cape Town this weekend.

Erasmus has spoken profoundly about his plan of exposing as many players to the international arena ahead of next year’s World Cup in Japan and the third Test has presented him with the opportune moment to test fridge players.

Chiliboy Ralepelle will start at hooker in the only change in the forwards while Elton Jantjies comes in for Handre Pollard at flyhalf and will have the same centre pairing he had in the season-opening game against Wales in Washington which includes André Esterhuizen in his second Test Cap and Jesse Kriel alongside him.

Warrick Gelant also starts at fullback while on the bench Schalk Brits returns to the international fold for the first time in over three years provide cover at hooker.

Young Bulls scrumhalf Ambrose Papier is another player that will be given an opportunity to show his worth in the Bok jersey.

Erasmus says most of the players he has picked formed the combinations of the once-off Test against Wales, and there shouldn’t be any disruptions to the Springboks winning momentum.

“I don’t think there will be too many disruptions in our play. If you look at the 10, 12 and 13 combinations, it’s the same guys that played against Wales in the States and they have a good understanding of each other. With Warrick coming in at fullback, it’s on the basis of him doing really well for the Bulls and knocks on the door and the only thing that kept him on the bench was Willie le Roux’s experience who has just over 40 caps.”

Following their 23-12 victory over England in Bloemfontein, the Springboks jumped from seventh to third in the latest World Rugby rankings and with a 3-0 series whitewash, the Boks will be looking to consolidate their position.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)

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