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Rugby | Springboks

Francois Louw © Gallo Images

Surprises in Bok pack

Springbok coach Allister Coetzee has pulled a rabbit out of the hat by including Pieter-Steph du Toit on the blindside flank in a changed pack for Saturday’s Castle Lager Rugby Championship clash with the All Blacks at Newlands.

Du Toit has played most of his rugby at lock but returns to the position he played some of his junior rugby as Coetzee looks for extra lineout options as well as size in the back row for this final international match of the South African season. The last time that Du Toit played on the flank was against England at Twickenham last November where he was exposed by England scrumhalf Danny Care around the fringes, but Coetzee is confident he has learned since then.

“You have to understand that for a guy who hasn’t played much on the flank having a running scrumhalf trying to run around him near the fringes is a new experience but Pieter-Steph has matured since then and has worked on that aspect,” said Coetzee.

If Du Toit’s selection on the flank comes as a surprise so should the selection of Lood de Jager at No 5 lock in place of Franco Mostert, who drops to the bench.

In a further change to the side that drew with the Wallabies in Bloemfontein last week, Steven Kitshoff gets to start at his home ground due to the experienced Beast Mtawarira being given the weekend off to attend to a family matter.

“Beast has to take care of family matters and in terms of our team culture it is very important that he does take care of that first. It is a great opportunity for Steven,” said Coetzee.

Effectively the Boks will go into the All Black game with two loose-forwards playing outside of their regular positions but Coetzee is confident that his back row configuration would work for the team.

“Flo is confident playing at No 8. There is a big similarity between No 6, where he regularly plays, and No 8, and it is not as if he hasn’t played No 8 before,” said the coach.

There have been changes made to the bench too, with Trevor Nyakane covering loosehead instead of tighthead this time, which is perhaps a better fit for him, and the Western Province scrumming powerhouse Wilco Louw covering starting No 3 Ruan Dreyer.

Saturday’s match kicks off at 17h05 and is both teams’ final fixture of the 2017 Castle Lager Rugby Championship.

The Springbok team to play the All Blacks in Cape Town:

15. Andries Coetzee, Emirates Lions – 8 caps, 0 points
14. Dillyn Leyds, DHL Stormers – 4 caps, 0 points
13. Jesse Kriel, Vodacom Bulls – 24 caps, 30 points (6 tries)
12. Jan Serfontein, Vodacom Bulls – 34 caps, 25 points (5 tries)
11. Courtnall Skosan, Emirates Lions – 8 caps, 10 points (2 try)
10. Elton Jantjies, Emirates Lions/NTT Shining Arcs (Japan) – 19 caps, 191 points (2 tries, 35 conversions, 37 penalties)
9. Ross Cronje, Emirates Lions – 5 caps, 5 points (1 try)
8. Francois Louw, Bath, England – 53 caps, 40 points (8 tries)
7. Pieter-Steph du Toit, DHL Stormers – 28 caps, 20 points (4 tries)
6. Siya Kolisi, DHL Stormers – 24 caps, 20 points (4 tries)
5. Lood de Jager, Vodacom Bulls – 31 caps, 20 points (4 tries)
4. Eben Etzebeth (captain), DHL Stormers – 62 caps, 15 points (3 tries)
3. Ruan Dreyer, Emirates Lions – 3 caps, 5 points (1 try)
2. Malcolm Marx, Emirates Lions – 10 caps, 10 points (2 tries)
1. Steven Kitshoff, DHL Stormers – 18 caps, 0 points
16. Chiliboy Ralepelle, Cell C Sharks – 22 caps, 5 points (1 try)
17. Trevor Nyakane, Vodacom Bulls – 33 caps, 5 points (1 try)
18. Wilco Louw, DHL Stormers – 0 caps, 0 points
19. Franco Mostert, Emirates Lions/Ricoh Black Rams (Jap) – 14 caps, 0 points
20. Jean-Luc du Preez, Cell C Sharks – 9 caps, 5 points (1 try)
21. Rudy Paige, Vodacom Bulls – 11 caps, 5 points (1 try)
22. Handré Pollard, Vodacom Bulls – 21 caps, 188 points (2 tries, 29 conversions, 37 penalties, 3 drop goals)
23. Damian de Allende, DHL Stormers – 25 caps, 16 points (3 tries)


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