JP Pietersen back for Springboks

10:09 am on 15 October 2015

The experienced JP Pietersen is back in the Springboks's starting line-up for their Rugby World Cup quarter-final against Wales at Twickenham on Sunday morning.

The Springboks wing JP Pietersen of South Africa celebrates.

The Springboks wing JP Pietersen of South Africa celebrates. Photo: Getty Images

Pietersen - who scored a hat-trick against Samoa in the second pool match - is included in the only change to the starting team that beat the USA 64-0 in the Boks' final Pool B match.

The 63-capped wing, who has recovered from a knee injury which kept him out of the USA Test, will wear the No 14 jersey and Bryan Habana will revert to the left-wing for this encounter. It will be the 42nd time they play together as a wing-combination in the Springboks' starting team.

Habana currently leads the try-scoring stakes at the World Cup with five, while Pietersen is joint second with four, a position he shares with five other players.

"JP and Bryan have been in superb form and are playing some of the best rugby of their lives," said Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer.

"It made sense to reunite Bryan and JP on the wing as it brings a lot of experience to our backline, which has been doing well despite the relative inexperience of Handré Pollard, Damian De Allende and Jesse Kriel."

The Springbok bench shows four changes from the last match. The experienced quartet of Adriaan Strauss, Jannie du Plessis, Ruan Pienaar and Pat Lambie are all back to give the South Africans a boost from the replacements' bench.

With a combined total of 252 caps between the four of them, these players should be able to make an impact later in the game.

"We've seen first-hand how important it is to have experienced players on the field at the end of a match and to have this kind of experience available on the bench in a knock-out match is great," said Meyer.

"They have a good set-piece and some strong ball carriers upfront and in the back - it's what you expect to face at this stage of the competition and we're very excited about the challenge."

The only player who was not considered because of injury is Victor Matfield, who felt some discomfort in his hamstring at training on Thursday.

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