The Springbok pack of eight is decidedly different to the one shredded to pieces in the Albany 57-0 eyesore less than a month ago. Springbok coach Allister Coetzee has changed the dynamic of his front row, second row and back row to find a collective to combat the New Zealanders.
The 95-Test veteran Beast Mtawarira is unavailable because of family reasons, which means local Stormers prop Steven Kitshoff is promoted from the substitute’s bench.
Lood de Jager replaces Franco Mostert at lock, with lock specialist Pieter-Steph du Toit to start at blindside flank. Francois Louw, who played flank against the Wallabies, starts at No 8.
The decision to play Du Toit is to add to the lineout security and for restart options.
Sport 24’s report on the Springboks’s selection noted that Kitshoff had played a record 18 matches off the bench in his position behind Mtawarira.
Another local, Wilco Louw, has been included as cover for the front row. Louw is the only uncapped player in the match 23.
Coetzee insisted he had no issue with moving (Francois) Louw from flank to No 8, despite his 50-plus Tests being as a specialist flanker.
‘Francois is a seasoned openside flank and although it’s his first Test start in the No 8 jersey, he has a good understanding of the role we expect from him. I believe his vast experience will see him settle in quickly in this role. Jean-Luc du Preez will again provide good impact off the bench.’
Coetzee declared his satisfaction with the Springboks backs and there were no changes to the seven who started against the Wallabies.
The last time the All Blacks played in Cape Town was in 2008. The match celebrated Percy Montgomery becoming the first Springbok to play 100 Tests. The All Blacks won 19-0.
The All Blacks have won four of their last five Tests against the Springboks in South Africa. They’ve also won 10 of the last 11 against the Springboks.
The All Blacks, ranked one in the world, have already won the Castle Rugby Championship and defeat for the Springboks, ranked fourth in world, would see the South Africans end the competition third out of four.
15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Dillyn Leyds, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Francois Louw, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6, Siya Kolisi, 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Eben Etzebeth (captain), 3 Ruan Dreyer, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Steven Kitshoff
Substitutes: 16 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 17 Trevor, 18 Wilco Louw, 19 Franco Mostert, 20 Jean-Luc du Preez, 21 Rudy Paige, 22 Handre Pollard, 23 Damian de Allende