Boks head honchos Jacques Nienaber and Rassie Erasmus. Photo: SA Rugby website

Springboks head honchos Jacques Nienaber and Rassie Erasmus. Photo: SA Rugby website

VIDEO: Why Springboks made mass changes, backing debutant

Springboks coach Jacques Nienaber has explained why the team was overhauled for the rematch with the Wallabies on Saturday.

Boks head honchos Jacques Nienaber and Rassie Erasmus. Photo: SA Rugby website

Springboks head honchos Jacques Nienaber and Rassie Erasmus. Photo: SA Rugby website

After suffering a humbling defeat to the Wallabies last weekend, the Springboks have opted to significantly refresh the match-day squad for this Saturday’s Rugby Championship rematch in Sydney.

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Talented young utility back Canan Moodie will make his Springbok debut as injuries and the desire to try a few new player combinations saw head coach Jacques Nienaber include eight new players in the starting team.

The 19-year-old Moodie earns his first start on the right wing in a positional switch with Warrick Gelant, who has been named among the replacements, while the experienced Willie le Roux will take Willemse’s place at fullback, with the other change in the backline at scrumhalf, where Jaden Hendrikse takes over from Faf de Klerk.

Handre Pollard, Lukhanyo Am and Pieter-Steph du Toit were all ruled out due to knee injuries, while Elton Jantjies injured his hand and was not available for selection this weekend, which means Damian Willemse will move from fullback to flyhalf. Jesse Kriel will slot in at centre, and Franco Mostert has been included in the loose trio.

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Apart from Mostert’s inclusion among the forwards, prop Steven Kitshoff and hooker Malcolm Marx earn starts in a new-look front row with Frans Malherbe, while Jasper Wiese takes over at No 8 from Duane Vermeulen, who will provide an impact off the replacements bench.

These changes see a reshuffle of the front row on the bench, with Deon Fourie serving as the replacement hooker, and Ox Nche and Trevor Nyakane providing cover at prop.

Among the Boks’ backs, Cobus Reinach will serve as back-up for Hendrikse at scrumhalf, with Frans Steyn providing cover flyhalf and centre, while Gelant will offer options on the wing and fullback.

You can watch the full Bok press conference below:

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Springboks team to face Australia in Sydney:

15 – Willie le Roux (Toyota Verblitz) – 76 caps, 65 pts (13t)
14 – Canan Moodie (Vodacom Bulls) – uncapped
13 – Jesse Kriel (Canon Eagles) – 53 caps, 60 pts (12t)
12 – Damian de Allende (Wild Knights) – 63 caps, 35 pts (7t)
11 – Makazole Mapimpi (Cell C Sharks) – 30 caps, 105 pts (21t)
10 – Damian Willemse (DHL Stormers) – 21 caps, 12 pts (1t, 2c, 1p)
9 – Jaden Hendrikse (Cell C Sharks) – 7 caps, 5 pts (1t)

8 – Jasper Wiese (Leicester Tigers) – 15 caps, 0 pts
7 – Franco Mostert (Honda Heat) – 56 caps, 5pts (1t)
6 – Siya Kolisi (captain, Cell C Sharks) – 68 caps, 35 pts (7t)
5 – Lood de Jager (Wild Knights) – 61 caps, 25 pts (5t)
4 – Eben Etzebeth (Cell C Sharks) – 103 caps, 15 pts (3t)
3 – Frans Malherbe (DHL Stormers) – 51 caps, 5 pts (1t)
2 – Malcolm Marx (Kubota Spears) – 52 caps, 55 pts (11t)
1 – Steven Kitshoff (DHL Stormers) – 64 caps, 5 pts (1t)

Replacements:

16 – Deon Fourie (DHL Stormers) – 1 cap, 0pts
17 – Ox Nche (Cell C Sharks) – 12 caps, 0pts
18 – Trevor Nyakane (Racing 92) – 57 caps, 5pts (1t)
19 – Kwagga Smith (Shizuoka Blue Revs) – 24 caps, 15 pts (3t)
20 – Duane Vermeulen (Ulster) – 63 caps, 15 pts (3t)
21 – Cobus Reinach (Montpellier) – 21 caps, 40pts (8t)
22 – Frans Steyn (Toyota Cheetahs) – 75 caps, 150 pts (11t, 7c, 24p, 3d)
23 – Warrick Gelant (Racing 92) – 11 caps, 15 pts (3t)

The Boks’ record against the Wallabies in Australia:

Played 42; Won 12; Lost 28; Drawn 2; Points for: 702, Points against: 925; Tries scored 82, Tries conceded 94; Highest score 38-12 in Brisbane (2013); Biggest win 26 points in Brisbane (2013). Win % 28,6%. 

Milestones:

  1. Malcolm Marx is the top try scorer in the squad against Australia with three tries in seven Test matches.
  2. Siya Kolisi has played 38 Tests as captain, making him the second most capped Springbok captain behind John Smit, who led the team in 83 Tests.

Miscellaneous:

  1. The total Test caps for the Springbok starting line-up is
  2. There are 257 caps in the backline with 470 caps amongst the forwards. On the bench there are a further 264
  3. The average caps per player in the backline are 36, the forwards 58, while the players on the bench average 33.