Four Changes For Springboks Against Italy

The Springbok starting team to face Italy in Padova on Saturday shows four changes from the side which beat England at Twickenham last week, with three new faces amongst the pack and one in the backline.  There are also five changes on the bench, with Nizaam Carr and Julian Redelinghuys included in a Test match-23 for the first time.  Trevor Nyakane will start his first Test for South Africa at loosehead prop, while Coenie Oosthuizen moves up from the bench to replace the injured Jannie Du Plessis at tighthead.

Teboho ‘Oupa’ Mohoje returns to the starting line-up while Johan Goosen has been selected at fullback.  Joining Carr and Redelinghuys on the bench, are Gurthrö Steenkamp, Lood De Jager and Willie Le Roux.  Tendai Mtawarira has been given a break after carrying a heavy workload recently.

“I’m excited to see what these guys can do on Saturday in what will be a stern Test against a fired-up Italy.  We planned to make a few shifts for this Test as I’d like to see if these players can make the step up. T he guys coming in deserve their opportunities and seeing that we won’t have our overseas-based players available next week against Wales, it made sense to bring a few of them in this week,” said Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer.  Meyer said he was impressed by the commitment shown by all the uncapped players at training on the tour and that Carr and Redelinghuys are ready for selection, “Nizaam can cover all the positions in the back-row and his call-up is just-reward after a very good season for the DHL Stormers and Western Province.  Julian has been superb for the Lions this season and he’s shown that he can scrum.  Both of them are now familiar with our plays and structures and I’m looking forward to see what they can bring on Saturday.  It will also be a good test for Johan, who I’ve always regarded as a possibility at fullback.  He has a great skill-set and a massive boot which will come in handy on Saturday if we have to play in wet weather again.”

Meyer said the Test against Italy will pose different challenges to what the Springboks had faced thus far on the tour, “They are a passionate nation with a very experienced coach in Jacques Brunel and a world-class captain in Sergio Parisse.  The Italian pack is always formidable and their backs are not scared of taking chances.  Our focus is to show improvements from our performance at Twickenham and we know it will be a big challenge on Saturday.”

The Springbok team to face Italy in Padova is:

Position

Name

Test Caps

Test points

15

Johan Goosen

5

8

14

JP Pietersen

58

90

13

Jan Serfontein

18

10

12

Jean de Villiers (captain)

104

135

11

Bryan Habana

105

280

10

Pat Lambie

38

97

9

Cobus Reinach

4

5

8

Duane Vermeulen

27

10

7

Teboho “Oupa” Mohoje

5

0

6

Marcell Coetzee

24

30

5

Victor Matfield (vice-captain)

119

35

4

Eben Etzebeth

31

0

3

Coenie Oosthuizen

19

10

2

Adriaan Strauss

42

25

1

Trevor Nyakane

11

5

Replacements:

16

Bismarck du Plessis

68

45

17

Gurthrö Steenkamp

52

30

18

Julian Redelinghuys

0

0

19

Lood de Jager

7

10

20

Nizaam Carr

0

0

21

Francois Hougaard

33

25

22

Handré Pollard

7

61

23

Willie le Roux

23

35