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Muller to lead Boks in Baa-baas clash

South Africa have made three changes for Saturday’s non-cap international against the Barbarians at Twickenham — Jake White’s last match as coach of the world champions.

Bismarck du Plesis takes the place of World Cup-winning captain John Smit after the hooker’s French club, Clermont Auvergne, refused to release him for this fixture.

Another change to the pack that started last Saturday’s 34-12 win over Wales, South Africa’s first match since they won the World Cup, sees second-rower Johan Ackermann replace Bakkies Botha, who injured his ankle during the Millennium Stadium clash.

Elsewhere JP Pietersen, who starred on the wing against Wales, has given way to Akona Ndungane.

Sharks lock Johann Muller will captain South Africa in Smit’s absence.

In all, South Africa’s team features six survivors from the starting line-up that beat England 15-6 in October’s World Cup final in Paris — centres Jaque Fourie and Francois Steyn, wing Bryan Habana, back-row duo Juan Smith and Schalk Burger and prop CJ van der Linde.

White is stepping down after four years in charge having opted not to seek a renewal of his contract. — AFP

Team: Ruan Pienaar; Akona Ndungane, Jaque Fourie, Francois Steyn, Bryan Habana; Andre Pretorius, Ricky Januarie; Ryan Kankowski, Juan Smith, Schalk Burger; Johan Ackerman, Johann Muller (captain); Jannie du Plessis, Bismarck du Plessis, CJ van der Linde. Replacements: Tiaan Liebenberg, Heinke van der Merwe, Albert van den Berg, Barend Pieterse, Wynand Olivier, Wayne Julies, Conrad Jantjes.

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