South Africa have made three changes for Saturday’s crucial second Test against the British and Irish Lions.
The British and Irish Lions fought back from 12-3 down to beat South Africa 22-17 in Cape Town and take a 1-0 lead in the three-Test series.
Leicester No 8 Jasper Wiese will start in the backrow, while props Steven Kitshoff and Frans Malherbe also start as South Africa look to level the series.
Wiese replaces Kwagga Smith after a former Blitzbok player came under fire for his performance in the first Test, particularly after he was targeted under the high ball.
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Malherbe comes in for Trevor Nyakane at tighthead prop with the latter moving to the bench, while Kitshoff will win his 50th cap as he replaces Ox Nché, who has not recovered from a minor neck injury suffered in the first Test.
South Africa coach Jacques Nienaber opted for a six-two split on the bench, which sees Nyakane and Vincent Koch provide cover at prop, while Marco van Staden takes over from Rynhardt Elstadt as loose forward cover along with Smith, while Herschel Jantjies and Damian Willemse are the only two backline players on the bench.
“This is a massive game for us, it’s 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 have had an extra week on the training field after a few disruptive weeks in the build-up to the opening Test, so we are confident that the players in the squad will be able to deliver on the physicality and grit that will be required in this match.”
“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,” Nienaber added.
“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.”
Nienaber said he expected another epic battle and insisted his side were in the right frame of mind to bounce back from last week’s disappointment.
“We disappointed ourselves last week, and we all know how important it is to bounce back with a strong performance and show our fighting spirit.”
South Africa: 15 Willie le Roux, 14 Cheslin Kolbe, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Handré Pollard, 9 Faf de Klerk, 1 Steven Kitshoff, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 3 Frans Malherbe, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 5 Franco Mostert, 6 Siya Kolisi (c), 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 8 Jasper Wiese
Replacements: 16 Malcolm Marx, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 Lood de Jager, 20 Marco van Staden, 21 Kwagga Smith, 22 Herschel Jantjies, 23 Damian Willemse
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