Springboks change ten for final Lions Test
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South Africa, with the rugby series already in the bag, have made ten changes to their starting line-up to play the British and Irish Lions at Ellis Park here on Saturday.
Springbok coach Peter de Villiers included only one uncapped player in the starting team when he named Blue Bulls’ Zane Kirchner at fullback.
Morne Steyn, the hero last-gasp penalty kicker in last weekend’s 28-25 second Test win, and Chiliboy Ralepelle will both make their first starts for the Springboks at flyhalf and hooker respectively.
Other newcomers to the starting XV are lock Johann Muller and flanker Heinrich Brussow, in for Bakkie Botha and Schalk Burger, who both picked up bans in the brutal second Test won at the death by the Boks, 28-25
Ryan Kankowski gets a run at No 8, Jongi Nokwe and Odwa Ndungane start on the wings and there is a new centre pairing in Wynand Olivier and Jaque Fourie.
“It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity to play against the Lions and we respect them so much, that we wanted to give all our players a chance to take them on,” said De Villiers.
“We believe they are as good as the other guys and that they can go out and do an outstanding job for the Springboks.
“They will also bring fresh energy to the team after two tough Tests and hopefully give us the quick ball to our backs, because we have shown we are capable of scoring tries from first phase.”
Uncapped Sharks lock Steven Sykes has been included on the bench for the Test. This follows the unsuccessful appeal Botha for his two-week suspension for dangerous charging on Welsh prop Adam Jones.
Bismarck du Plessis, Pierre Spies, Ruan Pienaar and Frans Steyn all drop down to the bench, which also includes Gurthro Steenkamp, who comes back onto the bench after missing the second Test. Deon Carstens retains his place amongst the reserves.
“This is a very strong side. At the end of the Vodacom Super 14 I wanted to have 28 players who could play for the Springboks at any time and I think we’ve achieved that goal. I’m very happy with this selection,” said De Villiers.
© AAP 2013
Zane Kirchner; Odwa Ndungane, Jaque Fourie, Wynand Olivier, Jongi Nokwe; Morne Steyn, Fourie du Preez; Ryan Kankowski, Juan Smith, Heinrich Brussow; Victor Matfield, Johann Muller; John Smit (capt), Chiliboy Ralepelle, Tendai Mtawarira
Replacements: Bismarck du Plessis, Gurthro Steenkamp, Deon Carstens, Steven Sykes, Pierre Spies, Ruan Pienaar, Frans Steyn
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