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Wholesale changes for Boks

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Springboks, The Rugby Championship on 3 Sep 2014 at 08:26
Tagged with : , , , , , , ,

Heyneke Meyer has hauled out his broom in reaction to a poor series against Argentina, opting to make sweeping changes to the Springbok side for Saturday’s Rugby Championship tests against Australia in Perth.

Damian de Allende and Handre Pollard are the casualties in the starting backline. Meyer has returned to Morne Steyn’s experience at flyhalf, while amazingly even preferring Sharks man Pat Lambie on the bench to his one-time phenom. De Allende, picked at test level to play an unfamiliar position for the first time, predictably struggled in both tests and has been dropped to the bench. Meyer has, though, opted to include Jan Serfontein in his place, another player who has regularly played inside, not outside, center during his senior career.

The remainder of the backline is unchanged, with left wing Bryan Habana earning a 100th test cap.

Up front, Bismarck du Plessis and Gurthro Steenkamp have both been dropped after the Salta debacle, while poor old Jannie du Plessis – the man who arguably came under the most pressure at scrum time – is retained. Beat Mtawarira and Adriaan Strauss come in for starts, as does Victor Matfield, who replaces Lood de Jager. Marcell Coetzee earns a start at blind side flank in the fourth change to the starting pack.

On the bench, Marcel van der Merwe comes in to cover tighthead and will sit alongside du Plessis, Trevor Nyakane and de Jager. Warren Whiteley also cops a maiden inclusion and becomes about the 12th player this year to leapfrog Oupa Mohoje, who clearly sat on the bench very badly in Pretoria and definitely deserved to be dropped.

Springboks: 15 Willie le Roux, 14 Cornal Hendricks, 13 Jan Serfontein, 12 Jean de Villiers (capt), 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Morne Steyn, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Duane Bermeulen, 7 Marcell Coetzee, 6 Francios Louw, 5 Victor Matfield, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Adriaan Strauss, 1 Tendai Mtawarira
Replacements: 16 Bismarck du Plessis, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Marcel van der Merwe, 19 Lood de Jager, 20 Warren Whiteley, 21 Francois Hougaard, 22 Pat Lambie, 23 Damian de Allende


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