South Africa make three changes for All Blacks

Thursday September 14 2017

South African players celebrate a try during their Rugby Championship match against Australia in Perth on September 9, 2017. PHOTO | GREG WOOD |

South African players celebrate a try during their Rugby Championship match against Australia in Perth on September 9, 2017. PHOTO | GREG WOOD |  AFP

By AFP
More by this Author

AUCKLAND

South Africa coach Allister Coetzee has made three changes to the starting line-up as his team face their "ultimate test" against New Zealand in Auckland on Saturday.

Two of the changes for the Rugby Championship fourth-round clash were injury enforced, with flanker Jean-Luc du Preez coming in for Jaco Kriel and prop Ruan Dreyer replacing Coenie Oosthuizen.

Kriel (shoulder) and Oosthuizen (broken arm) were both hurt in last week's nail-biting 23-23 draw against the Wallabies in Perth.

Coetzee also welcomes back lock Franco Mostert, who was rested against Australia but relegates Pieter-Steph du Toit to the bench for the All Blacks match.

"Franco had five superb matches before he was rested last week, he is refreshed again and I expect another strong performance from him as his high work-rate is much needed," the coach said.

Coetzee described the North Harbour Stadium contest as the ultimate test for the Springboks, who are the only unbeaten international team in 2017 after six Tests.

"They are the number one side in the world both in rankings and experience and there is no greater contest than to play them in New Zealand," he said.

"The rivalry between the two sides is filled with rich history and on Saturday we get an opportunity to be part of that.

"They are always at their best when playing the Springboks and we are expecting another huge battle."

South Africa (15-1): Andries Coetzee; Raymond Rhule, Jesse Kriel, Jan Serfontein, Courtnall Skosan; Elton Jantjies, Ross Cronje; Uzair Cassiem, Jean-Luc du Preez, Siya Kolisi; Franco Mostert, Eben Etzebeth (capt); Ruan Dreyer, Malcolm Marx, Tendai Mtawarira.

Replacements: Bongi Mbonambi, Steven Kitshoff, Trevor Nyakane, Lood de Jager, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Francois Hougaard, Handre Pollard, Damian de Allende.