Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer on Wednesday named the same starting line-up that beat Australia last weekend for Saturday’s Test in The Rugby Championship against New Zealand at Soccer City in Soweto.
It’s the first time this season that the Springboks will field an unchanged starting team for consecutive Tests. The team is the same as the one that beat Australia by 31-8 in Pretoria last weekend. The only change is on the bench, where Coenie Oosthuizen takes over from Pat Cilliers as prop replacement.
The last time the Springboks started two consecutive Tests with the same starting XV, was in 2009 in the home victories over New Zealand (31-19 in Durban on August 1) and Australia (29-17 in Cape Town on August 8).
“It’s always a good thing if you don’t have to make any changes and after the late replacements we had to call in last week, it’s especially nice to be able to select an unchanged starting team for Saturday’s Test,” said Meyer.
“We’ve been hit hard by injuries this year, but thanks to the great work done by our medical team, we’ve managed to sort out a few of the little niggles left over from the Wallaby match for our final Test on home soil this year.
“Last week’s win was very satisfying, but we all know we will have to make another step up against New Zealand on Saturday. They recorded a good win in Argentina and will be confident, but so are we.”
The Springboks’ starting XV has a combined total of 430 Test caps – 162 to the forwards and 268 to the backs.
South Africa: 15 Zane Kirchner, 14 Bryan Habana, 13 Jaco Taute, 12 Jean de Villiers (captain), 11 Francois Hougaard, 10 Johan Goosen, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Willem Alberts, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Andries Bekker, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Adriaan Strauss, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Replacements: 16 Tiaan Liebenberg, 17 Coenie Oosthuizen, 18 Flip van der Merwe, 19 Marcell Coetzee, 20 Elton Jantjies, 21 Juan de Jongh, 22 Pat Lambie.