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Bok changes galore as Meyer swings his axe

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, RWC 2015, Springboks on 23 Sep 2015 at 11:31
Tagged with : , , , , , , , , , , , ,

You can’t accuse Heyneke Meyer of failing to react following his side’s shock World Cup loss to Japan; however, whether the heads that have ended up on the chopping block are the right ones is a point worthy of further debate.

With both Victor Matfield and Jean de Villiers – arguably the architects-in-chief of Saturday’s hari kiri – both spared the noose, Meyer has instead dropped no fewer than eight other players for the next match against Samoa, including the only Bok to show any fight on the day, Lood de Jager.

Surprise number 1 sees Bismarck du Plessis left out entirely, with Adriaas Strauss starting and Schalk Brits on the bench. Eben Etzebeth replaces de Jager, with Matfield continuing at 5. Out goes Pieter-Steph du Toit, with Schalk Burger shifting to 7 and Duane Vermeulen back in at 8. Not surprisingly, the halfbacks have both been axed as well, with Fourie du Preez and Handre Pollard in for Ruan Pienaar and Pat Lambie.

De Villiers replaces Jesse Kriel at outside centre, with Damian de Allende starting at 12. JP Pietersen replaces Lwazi Mvovo in another strange selection, with Willie le Rouz preferred at fullback to Zane Kirchner. Neither Mvovo nor Kirchner dod much wrong against the Japanese – certainly no worse than the likes of Matfield, de Villiers, Burger or Habana, who all somehow retain their places.

Springboks: 15 Willie le Roux, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Jean de Villiers (capt), 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Fourie du Preez, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Schalk Burger, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Victor Matfield (ruck inspector), 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Adriaan Strauss, 1 Beast Mtawarira.
Subs: 16 Schalk Brits, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Frans Malherbe, 19 Lood de Jager, 20 Siya Kolisi, 21 Ruan Pienaar, 22 Pat Lambie, 23 Jesse Kriel


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