International Rugby, KEO News Wire

Pivotal changes as Boks and England announce teams

Rassie Erasmus has made five changes from last week for the team to face England in the final test of the series.

While the Boks be looking for a clean sweep in the June series, Erasmus has not been afraid to change things up a bit from the side that beat England in the first two tests.

Picking Warrick Gelant at fullback, Jesse Kriel and Andre Esterhuizen in midfield, Elton Jantjies at flyhalf and Chiliboy Ralepelle at hooker for the match at Newlands, Erasmus has reshuffled much of his backline. Schalk Brits is set to make his international comeback from the bench at hooker, while electric young scrumhalf Embrose Papier has earned a place on the bench, having made his first test appearance agaisnt Wales in Washington.

Erasmus, true to form thus far, has been calculated in his selections in opting to try out different specific combinations rather than making drastic changes to the entire team. The pack, who performed outstandingly in the first tests, remains primarily the same allowing for a retention of physicality and experience in the final test.

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“The series might be won but we still have an important Test match on Saturday, against a very determined English side who will be looking to end the series on a high,” said Erasmus.

“I expect a very physical and close-fought game. We are desperate to win and make it 3-0 while England will be desperate to win the game, make it 2-1 and finish their tour on a positive note.”

With regards to the changes in the match 23, Erasmus explained: “No one is out of the team because of a lack of form, the changes are due to our long-term planning for next year’s Rugby World Cup as we continue to build squad depth and capacity.”

While acknowledging the steps taken in the two matches in Johannesburg and Bloemfontein, Erasmus said he still wants to see much more improvement from the Springboks, emphasizing “We made a lot of mistakes last week and this Saturday gives us the opportunity to rectify those errors and to continue to build on our team cohesion.”

Eddie Jones has named a side with three changes to the his starting XV for Saturday.

Joe Marler replaces Mako Vunipola (who headed home for personal reasons) in the starting lineup while Danny Cipriani starts in place of George Ford in what will be his firsts start for England since 2008 and Chris Robshow comes back in at blindside flank for Brad Shields, due to illness.

Sport24 quoted Eddie Jones in saying “We’ve had a really upbeat training week. We are up for the battle and are going to rip in on Saturday. We want another committed performance where it will be crucial to maintain our composure when the heat is on.

“We are expecting a wet and windy old day at Newlands and have elected to play Danny Cipriani ahead of George Ford to give us a left-foot kicking option. We will need to jump out of the blocks quickly again and make sure we maintain that pressure and make good decisions.

“I’ve been really impressed with the fortitude of the squad under Owen Farrell, who is a young captain, and with a number of young players who have really stuck to the task.”

South Africa

15 Warrick Gelant, 14 S’bu Nkosi, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Aphiwe Dyantyi, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 Franco Mostert, 4 RG Snyman, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 1 Tendai Mtawarira

Substitutes: 16 Schalk Brits, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Thomas du Toit, 19 Jean-Luc du Preez, 20 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 21 Embrose Papier 22 Handre Pollard, 23 Willie le Roux


15 Elliot Daly, 14 Jonny May, 13 Henry Slade, 12 Owen Farrell (captain), 11 Mike Brown, 10 Danny Cipriani, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Nathan Hughes, 7 Tom Curry, 6 Chris Robshaw, 5 Maro Itoje, 4 Joe Launchbury, 3 Kyle Sinckler, 2 Jamie George, 1 Joe Marler

Substitutes: 16 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 17 Alec Hepburn, 18 Harry Williams, 19 Jonny Hill, 20 Mark Wilson, 21 Sam Simmonds, 22 Ben Spencer, 23 Denny Solomona

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