The SA U21 side to play New Zealand in Wednesday’s World Championship semi-final includes three changes from the side that held out against the French.
Coach Peter de Villiers has decided to give Cedric Mkhize his first start in the tournament on the wing, while vice captain Marius Delport shifts to fullback. The other change is at scrumhalf, where Warren Malgas replaces Jano Vermaak.
In the pack, Ashley Johnson replaces the injured Hilton Lobberts at No 8, with the versatile Pierre Spies moving to flank.
â€œHaving seen all the teams played in this tournament I think New Zealand is the team to beat. We will go out there and do our best to make all in South Africa proud. We are well prepared and our focus is now just to overcome this hurdle,” said De Villiers.
In the do or die stages of the tournament, the SA U21s are confident that they won’t be the ones playing in the inconsequential third-place playoff.
â€˜We are obviously well aware that the loser in this match will play for the wooden spoon. We came to France to represent our beloved country and to make everyone proud. There is no reason why we should not do exactly thatâ€, said captain Chiliboy Ralepelle.
Baby Boks side:
15 Marius Delport, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Waylon Murray, 12 Bradley Barritt, 11 Cedric Mkhize, 10 Isma-eel Dollie, 9 Warren Malgas, 8 Ashley Johnson, 7 Pierre Spies, 6 Keegan Daniel, 5 Wilhelm Steenkamp, 4 Nikolai Blignaut, 3 Sangoni Mxoli, 2 Chiliboy Ralapelle (c), 1 Heinke van der Merwe.
Subs: 16 Adriaan Strauss, 17 Werner Kruger, 18 Alistair Hargreaves, 19 Hilton Lobberts, 20 Jano Vermaak, 21 Scott Spedding, 22 Frank Wagenstroom.