Handre Pollard is the predictable inclusion in the Springboks match 23 to play Australia, while lock workhorse Franco Mostert’s energy has been saved for the tougher assignment of the All Blacks.
Mostert, one of the stars of the Lions Super Rugby season, has also been integral to the Springboks’ improved pack presence in 2017. His worth ethic leads the way and his partnership with captain Eben Etzebeth has proven one of the success stories in the Boks’ rejuvenation.
The 2016 South African player of the year Pieter-Stef du Toit replaces Mostert in the starting XV and the 2015 player of the year Lood de Jager makes a rare match 23 appearance.
Handre Pollard has also slotted straight back into international rugby after an absence of more than a year.
Pollard has played minimal rugby since the 2015 World Cup but Springbok coach Allister Coetzee insisted the player was in good enough shape to play Test rugby. Coetzee felt Pollard gained more from training with the Springboks than he would have playing Currie Cup rugby.
Australia’s starting XV shows several changes to the side that started in the 35-29 defeat against the All Blacks in Dunedin.
15 Israel Folau, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Kurtley Beale, 11 Reece Hodge, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Will Genia, 8 Sean McMahon, 7 Michael Hooper (captain), 6 Ned Hanigan, 5 Adam Coleman, 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 Scott Sio
Substitutes: 16 Jordan Uelese, 17 Tom Robertson, 18 Allan Alaalatoa, 19 Rob Simmons, 20 Jack Dempsey, 21 Nick Phipps, 22 Samu Kerevi, 23 Curtis Rona
15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Raymond Rhule, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Uzair Cassiem, 7 Jaco Kriel, 6 Siya Kolisi, 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 Eben Etzebeth (captain), 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Beast Mtawarira
Substitutes: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Trevor Nyakane, 19 Lood de Jager, 20 Jean-Luc du Preez, 21 Francois Hougaard, 22 Handre Pollard, 23 Damian de Allende