Spies is lucky No 7

Pierre Spies has been called into the Springbok starting XV in place of Joe van Niekerk for the Vodacom Tri-Nations Test at Loftus Versfeld tomorrow.

Spies comes in for Van Niekerk who was ruled out with a neck injury earlier today. The news came just 24 hours after Van Niekerk himself replaced the injured Juan Smith.

Blue Bulls flank Pedrie Wannenburg will start on the bench, after getting the SOS call yesterday. White had speculated about using lock Albert van den Berg, but he remains on the bench as cover for the second row.

It has been a hectic last 48 hours for the Boks, while the All Blacks have had a smooth run into this match. Spies will be making his second appearance for the Boks after making his debut against the Wallabies in Brisbane.

In that match the Boks lost 49-0, but tomorrow on his home ground Spies will be fired up to show he is a player worthy of a place in the Bok squad.

Spies will form a new-look back-row combination with Solly Tyibilika and Jacques Cronje that has never been tried at this level before. And apart from the captain’s run this afternoon they will not have had anytime together either.

Revised Springbok team to play the All Blacks:
15 Percy Montgomery
14 Akona Ndungane
13 Jaque Fourie
12 Jean de Villiers
11 Bryan Habana
10 Butch James
9 Fourie du Preez

8 Jacques Cronje
7 Pierre Spies
6 Solly Tyibilika
5 Victor Matfield
4 Johann Muller
3 CJ van der Linde
2 John Smit (captain)
1 Os du Randt

16 Chiliboy Ralepelle
17 BJ Botha
18 Albert van den Berg
19 Pedrie Wannenburg
20 Ruan Pienaar
21 Wynand Olivier
22 Andre Pretorius

By Andrew Hollely