Bakkies boosts Boks

Toulon-based hard man Bakkies Botha has been retained in the Springboks match squad to face France in Paris. And the hosts have stuck with those players who pushed New Zealand close.

Impressive lock Pieter-Steph du Toit is also among the reserves.

Bok coach Heyneke Meyer has made five changes to the starting XV that hammered Scotland, but both starting flankers Francois Louw and Willem Alberts will carry an injury cloud into the match.

Coenie Oostuizen has been entrusted to start at tighthead in what will be his biggest Test career challenge.

The Boks are weakened at tighthead and scrumhalf with the absence of a specialist tighthead and the world’s best scrumhalf in Fourie du Preez.

Jano Vermaak, who plays for Toulouse, has leapfrogged Louis Schreuder in the absence of Du Preez. Vermaak has been picked in the reserves.

Schreuder and hooker Scarra Ntubeni, the uncapped players on the tour, have not played in any of the Tests.

Springboks - 15 Willie le Roux: 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Jaque Fourie, 12 Jean de Villiers (captain) 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Willem Alberts, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Flip van der Merwe, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Tendai Mtawarira
Substitutes: 16 Adriaan Strauss, 17 Gurthrö Steenkamp, 18 Lourens Adriaanse, 19 Bakkies Botha, 20 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 21 Siya Kolisi 22 Jano Vermaak, 23 Patrick Lambie

France – 15 Brice Dulin, 14 Yoann Huget, 13 Florian Fritz, 12 Wesley Fofana, 11 Sofiane Guitoune, 10 Rémi Talès, 9 Morgan Parra, 8 Damien Chouly, 7 Wenceslas Lauret, 6 Thierry Dusautoir (c), 5 Yoann Maestri, 4 Pascal Papé, 3 Nicolas Mas, 2 Benjamin Kayser, 1 Yannick Forestier.
Subs: 16 Dimitri Szarzewski, 17 Thomas Domingo, 18 Rabah Slimani, 19 Sebastien Vahaamahina, 20 Yannick Nyanga, 21 Jean-Marc Doussain, 22 Frédéric Michalak, 23 Mathieu Bastareaud.