Pienaar named at five-eighth for Springboks
Pienaar fought off the challenge of Bulls superboot Morne Steyn to be handed the playmaking role in what is a Springboks side at very close to full strength.
The only players missing from the starting side who beat the British and Irish Lions in the second Test to wrap up the series at Pretoria last month are injured centre Adrian Jacobs and suspended flanker Schalk Burger.
Coach Peter De Villiers has opted for the skill of Pienaar, despite some mixed form early in the Lions series, with Steyn coming on late to kick the matchwinning penalty at Pretoria. Pienaar will carry the goalkicking duties.
The midfield was the other area of debate but made easier for the coach as Jacobs has struggled all week with a groin injury.
Centre Jaque Fourie has been cleared of a quad niggle and will start at centre, alongside long-time midfield colleague Jean de Villiers.
Fullback Francois Steyn and wingers JP Pietersen and Bryan Habana form a predictable, if potent, back three.
Captain John Smit at tighthead prop is part of the all-Sharks front row who demolished the Lions in the first Test at Durban.
World class Bulls pair Victor Matfield and Bakkies Botha are reunited at lock after Botha was suspended from the third Lions Test at Johannesburg.
Burger is still serving his ban for eye gouging, leaving Heinrich Brussow in the openside role while Juan Smith will be on the blindside, meaning both flankers will play at their Cheetahs home ground, Vodacom Park.
Super 14 stars with the Bulls, No.8 Pierre Spies and halfback Fourie du Preez form a key combination at the base of the Springboks scrum.
© AAP 2013
SPRINGBOKSFrans Steyn; JP Pietersen, Jaque Fourie, Jean de Villiers, Bryan Habana; Ruan Pienaar, Fourie du Preez; Pierre Spies, Juan Smith, Heinrich Brussow; Victor Matfield, Bakkies Botha; John Smit (capt), Bismarck du Plessis, Tendai Mtawarira. Res: Chiliboy Ralepelle, Jannie du Plessis, Danie Rossouw, Ryan Kankowski, Ricky Januarie, Morne Steyn, Wynand Olivier.
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