23 Jul 2015

Springboks make changes for All Blacks clash

7:59 am on 23 July 2015

The Springboks have been forced to make an injury-enforced late change to their team to take on the All Blacks in their Rugby Championship game at Ellis Park this weekend.

Coach Heyneke Meyer had made eight changes to his 23 from the side that lost to Australia, including three in the pack.

Coach Heyneke Meyer with Pat Lambie after the win over the All Blacks at Ellis Park in October

Coach Heyneke Meyer with Pat Lambie after the win over the All Blacks at Ellis Park in October Photo: PHOTOSPORT

However winger JP Pietersen suffered a hamstring injury in training and has been replaced by Cornal Hendricks with the uncapped Lionel Mapoe going onto the bench.

Meyer said it was a huge setback to lose JP Pietersen for such a big match, as he had been in good form and brought valuable experience to their backline. But Cornal had played against the All Blacks last year, scored a brilliant try in Wellington and was raring to go, he said.

Meanwhile flanker Heinrich Brussow will make his first start for the Springboks since the 2011 World Cup.

Three of the changes are in the pack with Francois Louw to start in the number seven jersey for the injured Marcell Coetzee in a positional change, with Brüssow starting at six.

The only other change to the starting line-up is at lock, where Lood de Jager takes over from the injured Victor Matfield.

All the other changes are on the bench.

Meyer said injuries had forced his hand a bit, but he had stuck to the planned rotational policy on the bench.

He said the breakdown battle would again be huge and it would be good to see Louw and Brussow play together.

Meyer said the Springboks faced a huge challenge this weekend as they continued to build towards the Rugby World Cup against a fired-up New Zealand side.

He said they played some great rugby last weekend, but this week they had to put in an 80-minute effort, and be especially focused in the last 10 minutes, because New Zealand always finished strongly.

Meanwhile four years after he last played a test, the flanker Heinrich Brussow is back in the Springbok side to take on the All Blacks in their Rugby Championship clash in Johannesburg.

Brussow last played in the 2011 World Cup and in his 4 games against the All Blacks has never lost.

Heinrich Brussow is back in the Springoks

Heinrich Brussow is back in the Springoks Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Meyer has also named Francois Louw in a double-openside approach.

Meyer scoffed at talk that he had previously ignored Brussow.....

"You know there's a lot of speculation in the media that there was bad blood between us but that's not true."

"I respect him that he didn't go to the media or fight his battles in the media."

"I said to him exactly what he needed to work on be to be back in the fold and he was awesome in Super Rugby and he's playing as one of the best open sides in the world so I just felt his game, it is the right game to give him a go."

Meyer says he expects the game to be won at the breakdown and that's why he's opted for two opensiders.

Revised Springbok team to face New Zealand in Johannesburg:

15 Willie le Roux

14 Cornal Hendricks

13 Jesse Kriel

12 Damian de Allende

11 Bryan Habana

10 Handré Pollard

9 Ruan Pienaar (vice-captain)

8 Schalk Burger (captain)

7 Francois Louw

6 Heinrich Brussow

5 Lood de Jager

4 Eben Etzebeth

3 Jannie du Plessis

2 Bismarck du Plessis

1 Tendai Mtawarira

Replacements:

16 Adriaan Strauss

17 Trevor Nyakane

18 Vincent Koch

19 Flip van der Merwe

20 Warren Whiteley

21 Cobus Reinach

22 Pat Lambie

23 Lionel Mapoe

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