A few changes in store for Bok team in second British & Irish Lions Test
After their first loss to the British & Irish Lions, the Springbok team has made a number of changes in the hopes that they can turn their fortunes around on Saturday.
JOHANNESBURG - SA Rugby announced on Tuesday that Springbok prop Steven Kitshoff will earn his 50th Test cap at the Cape Town Stadium on Saturday, 31 July, in the second Test of the Castle Lager Lions Series.
Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber has made three changes to his starting team and six in total to the matchday squad for the key encounter.
Included is Jasper Wiese – who was named at No 8.
Wiese earns his first Test start after making his debut off the replacements bench against Georgia earlier this month.
Two of the other changes are in the front-row, where Kitshoff - who made his Test debut against Ireland in 2016 – will mark his career milestone next to Frans Malherbe and Bongi Mbonambi in a new-look combination for the hosts.
Ox Nché - who packed down with Trevor Nyakane and Mbonambi last weekend - was ruled out due to the neck niggle he picked up in the first Test.
Mbonambi’s hamstring strain has recovered sufficiently for him to start the match.
Damian de Allende, who retains his midfield partnership with Lukhanyo Am, will take one step closer to earning his half century of caps, as he runs on to the field in his 49th Test, while Lood de Jager (replacement lock) will earn his 47th cap if takes the field.
“This is a massive game for us; it is do or die in order to stay in the race to win the series and we selected a team that offers continuity in selection, but also that we thought would be the best suited to achieve the objectives we have set for this match,” said Nienaber.
“We need to be better in every area of the game this week, and the set pieces will be crucial in laying the foundations we need to execute our game plan effectively”.
The Boks battled to breach the visitors' defence last weekend despite numerous short kicks by scrumhalf Faf de Klerk.
Added to this, the home side suffered more penalties than the British & Irish Lions, which saw the team in red catch up in the second half.
Nienaber said: “We also spoke about our discipline and the aerial battle as a team, and we intend to work as hard as possible at training this week to correct the errors that cost us last week”.
Saturday promises to be an epic battle.
Springbok team to face the British & Irish Lions at Cape Town Stadium:
15 – Willie le Roux (Toyota Verblitz) – 63 caps, 60 pts (12t)
14 – Cheslin Kolbe (Toulouse) – 15 caps, 40 pts (8t)
13 – Lukhanyo Am (Cell C Sharks) – 16 caps, 15 pts (3t)
12 – Damian de Allende (Munster) – 48 caps, 30 pts (6t)
11 – Makazole Mapimpi (Cell C Sharks) – 15 caps, 70 pts (14t)
10 – Handré Pollard (vice-captain, Montpellier) – 50 caps, 477pts (6t, 78c, 93p, 4d)
9 – Faf de Klerk (Sale Sharks) – 31 caps, 25 pts (5t)
8 – Jasper Wiese (Leicester Tigers) – 1 cap, 0 pts
7 – Pieter-Steph du Toit (DHL Stormers) – 57 caps, 25 pts (5t)
6 – Siya Kolisi (captain, Cell C Sharks) – 52 caps, 30 pts (6t)
5 – Franco Mostert (Honda Heat) – 41 caps, 5pts (1t)
4 – Eben Etzebeth (Toulon) – 87 caps, 15 pts (3t)
3 – Frans Malherbe (DHL Stormers) – 40 caps, 5pts (1t)
2 – Bongi Mbonambi (DHL Stormers) – 38 caps, 40 pts (8t)
1 – Steven Kitshoff (DHL Stormers) – 49 caps, 5pts (1t)
16 – Malcolm Marx (Kubota Spears) – 35 caps, 30 pts (6t)
17 – Trevor Nyakane (Vodacom Bulls) – 44 caps, 5 pts (1t)
18 – Vincent Koch (Saracens) – 21 caps, 0 pts
19 – Lood de Jager (Sale Sharks) – 46 caps, 25 pts (5t)
20 – Marco van Staden (Vodacom Bulls) – 3 caps, 0 pts
21 – Kwagga Smith (Yamaha Júbilo) – 8 caps, 5 pts (1t)
22 – Herschel Jantjies (DHL Stormers) – 12 caps, 25 pts (5t)
23 – Damian Willemse (DHL Stormers) – 8 caps, 5pts (1t)
Facts and stats:
• Handré Pollard needs two penalty goals to equal Jackie Snyman's record of six career penalty goals against the British & Irish Lions.
• The Springboks need four tries to reach 100 tries against the British & Irish Lions in this 48th Test between the sides since 1891.
• The total Test caps for the Springbok starting line-up is 603.
• There are 238 caps in the backline with 365 caps amongst the forwards. On the bench there are a further 159 caps.
• The average caps per player in the backline are 34, the forwards 45 while the players on the bench average 19.