23 Jul 2009

Centre Jacobs forced out of South Africa team

8:35 am on 23 July 2009

Centre Adrian Jacobs has been forced out of a strong South African rugby team to play New Zealand in a Tri-Nations Test in Bloemfontein on Sunday morning after tearing a groin muscle .

The 28-year-old has been a favourite of Springbok coach Peter de Villiers, playing in 13 of his 16 Tests in charge.

He's been replaced by Jaque Fourie, who resumes his midfield partnership with Jean de Villiers.

De Villiers says losing Jacobs is a big setback but Fourie is a similar player and the Springboks' game plan won't change much.

The only other change to the team that clinched the series against the British and Irish Lions in Pretoria last month sees Heinrich Brussow replace the suspended Schalk Burger at flanker.

And tighthead prop Jannie du Plessis has been brought onto the bench as cover for captain John Smit, who will play his first Tri-Nations Test in the number three jersey.

Team: Francois Steyn, JP Pietersen, Fourie, de Villiers, Bryan Habana, Ruan Pienaar, Fourie du Preez, Pierre Spies, Juan Smith, Heinrich Brussow, Victor Matfield,Bakkies Botha,John Smit, Bismarck du Plessis, Tendai Mtawarira.

Replacements: Chiliboy Ralepelle, Jannie du Plessis, Danie Rossouw, Ryan Kankowski, Ricky Januarie, Morne Steyn, Wynand Olivier.