SA make two changes for Australia Tri clash
South Africa coach Peter de Villiers has refused to hit the panic button after his team’s drubbing by New Zealand and has made just two changes to the team for Saturday’s Tri-nations Test with Australia.
Injured wing Bryan Habana (hamstring) is replaced by Jongi Nokwe while veteran Percy Montgomery, after playing his 100th test in the 19-0 defeat by the All Blacks in Cape Town last weekend, is replaced at fullback by Conrad Jantjes.
The only other change sees loose forward Joe van Niekerk come on to the bench for utility forward Danie Roussouw.
Australia have not won in South Africa since 2000 when they triumphed at the venue of Saturday’s match in Durban.
Australia are four points ahead of the Springboks in the standings with a game in hand. New Zealand lead with 14 points from five matches while the Wallabies have nine from three.
South Africa captain Victor Matfield told reporters they still believe they can win the Tri-Nations.
“Playing for the Boks is always for pride. We still have a chance in the Tri-nations and we want to go out and play positive rugby,” he said.
The desire for positive rugby was behind the pacier Jantjes coming in at fullback in place of Montgomery with De Villiers saying that against Australia “we need to speed up the game”.
One of the chief concerns after the defeat by the All Blacks was that South Africa lost the battle for the loose ball.
But De Villiers was confident flank Schalk Burger could more than meet the challenge from Australia, saying: “Schalk has always won a lot of ball for us in the past. But we do need to be more accurate at the breakdown situation”.
As for the inclusion of the speedy Nokwe, who will win his second cap, the coach added: “He just has to score tries”. - Reuters
15-Conrad Jantjes, 14-JP Pietersen, 13-Adrian Jacobs, 12-Jean de Villiers, 11-Jongi Nokwe, 10-Butch James, 9-Fourie du Preez, 8-Pierre Spies, 7-Juan Smith, 6-Schalk Burger, 5-Victor Matfield (capt), 4-Andries Bekker, 3-CJ van der Linde, 2-Bismarck du Plessis, 1-Tendai Mtawarira.
Replacements: 16-Adriaan Strauss, 17-Brian Mujati, 18-Joe van Niekerk, 19-Luke Watson, 20-Enrico Januarie, 21-Francois Steyn, 22-Percy Montgomery.