Springboks drop big names for Wallabies clash

Malcolm Marx, Tendai Mtawarira and Handre Pollard have been dropped to the South Africa bench as Rassie Erasmus makes six changes for Saturday’s Rugby Championship clash with Australia.

The Springboks were beaten 32-19 by Argentina in Mendoza last time out, having opened their campaign with a 34-21 victory over the same opponents in Durban.

Marx and Mtawarira make way for Bongi Mbonambi and Steven Kitshoff in the front row, while Pollard is replaced by Elton Jantjies at fly-half.

Captain Siya Kolisi returns to the number six jersey, allowing Pieter-Steph du Toit to start at seven and Warren Whiteley to keep his place at the base of the scrum.

Damian de Allende is given his first start of 2018 at centre as he and Jesse Kriel come in for Andre Esterhuizen and Lukhanyo Am.

“We are looking for a good response on Saturday against the Wallabies and I am sure that this side will be up to the task,” said coach Erasmus.

Despite Erasmus’ confidence in his new-look side, opposite number Michael Cheika – whose side head into Saturday’s clash in Brisbane on the back of a pair of heavy defeats to New Zealand – admitted his surprise at the selection.

“Now, obviously I saw that the coach was looking to rest players against us,” Cheika said.

“I hope we haven’t become a team that the opposition can rest all their best players.

“I was a bit surprised to see that, to be honest. But we’ll be doing our best no matter who we’re playing against.”


South Africa XV to face Australia: Willie le Roux, Makazole Mapimpi, Jesse Kriel, Damian de Allende, Aphiwe Dyantyi, Elton Jantjies, Faf de Klerk; Steven Kitshoff, Bongi Mbonambi, Frans Malherbe, Eben Etzebeth, Franco Mostert, Siya Kolisi (captain), Pieter-Steph du Toit, Warren Whiteley.

Replacements: Malcolm Marx, Tendai Mtawarira, Wilco Louw, RG Snyman, Francois Louw, Embrose Papier, Handre Pollard, Cheslin Kolbe. News wire is powered by opta

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