Heyneke Meyer has made no changes to the Springboks’ starting line-up for the Rugby Championship Test against the All Blacks.
The Boks had several injury concerns following last Saturday’s clash against the Wallabies, but Meyer has confirmed that Zane Kirchner (hip), Johan Goosen (heel), Willem Alberts (hip), and Jannie du Plessis (stiffness) all trained with the team on Wednesday, and are all expected to start.
News that Coenie Oosthuizen has been cleared of a serious neck injury has prompted Meyer to include the Cheetahs prop on the Bok bench. Oosthuizen replaces Pat Cilliers, who featured against Australia last week.
‘Coenie is a superb athlete, a player whom I believe has the potential to be one of the all-time greats,’ said Meyer. ‘I will never gamble on a player’s health. We know that there is no risk to playing Coenie this weekend.
‘He has been out of action [due to a neck injury] for some time, but he understands our systems and what’s required of him having been with us since the beginning of the year.
‘In these types of games you need an impact player who can produce something special when he comes off the bench, and Coenie fits the bill.’
Springboks – 15 Zane Kirchner, 14 Bryan Habana, 13 Jaco Taute, 12 Jean de Villiers (c), 11 Francois Hougaard, 10 Johan Goosen, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Duane Vermuelen, 7 Willem Alberts, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Andries Bekker, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Adriaan Strauss, 1 Beast Mtawarira.
Subs: 16 Tiaan Liebenberg, 17 Coenie Oosthuizen, 18 Flip van der Merwe, 19 Marcel Coetzee, 20 Elton Jantjies, 21 Juan de Jongh, 22 Pat Lambie.
By Jon Cardinelli, in Johannesburg