Springboks bring in Lambie at fullback
South Africa have made one change to the starting line-up for the second Test against England at Ellis Park in Johannesburg on Saturday with Patrick Lambie coming in for injured Zane Kirchner at fullback.
There are two enforced changes among the replacements as Werner Kruger replaces Coenie Oosthuizen, who has been ruled out for at least two months because of a first-Test neck injury, and Basson takes over from Lambie.
South Africa lead the three-Test series 1-0 after a good second-half showing in Durban earned a 22-15 victory despite a rare off-day by ace goal-kicker Morne Steyn, who missed three of seven shots at goal.
Kirchner injured his knee at Kings Park and was replaced by Lambie during the interval while Oosthuizen could miss at least part of The Rugby Championship (formerly the Tri-Nations), which kicks off in mid-August.
“I decided against unnecessary changes as we aim to build some continuity during the season,” explained new coach Heyneke Meyer.
“We still have not had a lot of preparation time, but I’m pleased to see how the players have been getting stuck in – on the training field and during our off-field sessions.
“This weekend will be a big challenge again against a good English side, but our focus is still on ourselves. We need to show further improvement from last weekend and have to make a step up.”
Many Springbok supporters will believe the change to the starting line-up strengthens the team with Lambie a surprise omission from the first team named by Meyer, who succeeded Peter de Villiers after the 2011 World Cup.
Bulls custodian Kirchner has played at fullback throughout this Super Rugby season while the Sharks have preferred to deploy highly versatile Lambie mainly at five-eighth.
Kruger must cover loose-head prop Tendai Mtawarira and tight-head Jannie du Plessis, an older brother of hooker and vice-captain Bismarck du Plessis.
Basson, who made headlines in 2010 when sent home from a tour of Britain after a failed drug test, has worn the green and gold before and is a proven try-scorer at Super Rugby level.
South Africa are seeking a ninth consecutive win over England – the streak started at Twickenham in 2006 with a 25-14 victory and the other successes included a 15-6 triumph in the 2007 World Cup final.
© AFP 2013
Patrick Lambie, JP Pietersen, Jean de Villiers (capt), Francois Steyn, Bryan Habana, Morne Steyn, Francois Hougaard, Pierre Spies, Willem Alberts, Marcell Coetzee, Juandre Kruger, Eben Etzebeth, Jannie du Plessis, Bismarck du Plessis, Tendai Mtawarira.
Replacements: Adriaan Strauss, Werner Kruger, Flip van der Merwe, Keegan Daniel, Ruan Pienaar, Bjorn Basson, Wynand Olivier
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