Bakkies locks in for Boks

The Springboks have named a side that includes Bakkies Botha at lock.

Botha will play his first match since 9 August against Argentina and coach Peter de Villiers has deemed him fit enough to start. Andries Bekker will be used off the bench where his athleticism can be maximised to take advantage of some tired Welsh bodies.

“We have picked Bakkies Botha from the start because we felt we would run a big risk if we used him as a replacement and he then broke down,” said coach Peter de Villiers. ” We feel it is better for him to play from the start.”

In the front row Beast Mtawarira will partner hooker Bismarck du Plessis and captain John Smit, who starts at tighthead despite the Wales’ belief that it was a psychological ploy.

There’s no place for Ryan Kankowski in the starting line-up. The eightman was superb in the latter stages of the Absa Currie Cup, but Pierre Spies is preferred. However, to have a player of Kankowski’s calibre on the wood is a luxury all other sides would kill for.

There’s no place in the backline for Jaque Fourie, with Adi Jacobs holding on to the No 13 shirt. But Fourie will provide backline cover with Frans Steyn and Ricky Januarie on the bench. Ruan Pienaar will marshal the backline from flyhalf. It is his first start at pivot in a Test and all eyes will be trained on him for clues to whether he has the aptitude for the role.

Springboks - 15 Conrad Jantjes, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Adrian Jacobs, 12 Jean de Villiers, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Ruan Pienaar, 9 Fourie du Preez, 8 Pierre Spies, 7 Juan Smith, 6 Schalk Burger, 5 Victor Matfield, 4 Bakkies Botha, 3 John Smit (c), 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Beast Mtawarira.
Subs: 16 Brian Mujati, 17 Gurthro Steenkamp, 18 Andries Bekker, 19 Ryan Kankowski, 20 Ricky Januarie, 21 Frans Steyn, 22 Jaque Fourie.