Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber made two changes to the squad for their Rugby championship match against the All Blacks on the Gold Coast Saturday while Cheslin Kolbe misses out again.
Ox Nche and Jasper Wiese were the changes with Nche starting at loosehead prop while Trevor Nyakane switches to tighthead after Frans Malherbe was ruled out of selection due to a neck niggle. Wiese takes over from Marco van Staden, who suffered a shoulder injury in the latter stages of last week’s defeat against the All Blacks in Townsville.
“With that in mind we opted for continuity in our team, so the only change in the run-on side is Ox taking over in the front row after Frans was ruled out. Trevor is a seasoned campaigner who is equally comfortable at loosehead and tighthead prop, and Ox is a strong scrummager, so we are looking forward to seeing what they can do in the scrums,” said Nienaber.
“On the bench, Jasper takes over from Marco, and we are fortunate in that they are similar in terms of their physicality and strong ball-carrying abilities,” he added.
“Cheslin would have started the match if he made a full recovery from the leg injury which has kept him out since the beginning of our Australian tour, but unfortunately his injury flared up during the latter stages of Tuesday’s field session, so we could not select him, “he said.
Nienaber stressed the importance of turning the corner after three successive defeats on tour and said the entire squad was aligned in terms of what their roles were to steer the team to a much-needed win.
“We are bitterly disappointed about the results in the last few weeks and everyone in our team realises the importance of finishing the Rugby Championship on a winning note,” said Nienaber.
“Every member of squad will have a role to play in ensuring that the players on the field are at their best on match day, and we have no doubt that if we can build on the strong points of our game last week and improve further on the execution of our game plan, we can get the desired result. We know it is going to take a colossal 80-minute effort, but the drive to succeed and motivation to win this weekend is as big as it gets,” he said.
“Last week we stuck to our DNA and style of play, and with a little more luck we could have come away with the result, so we need to ensure that we are better at it this week. We are ready for this challenge mentally and physically and we know what we are capable of as a team, so we’ll go out there and give everything we have,” he added.
Springbok team to face New Zealand in Gold Coast:
15 – Willie le Roux (Toyota Verblitz), 14 – Sbu Nkosi (Cell C Sharks), 13 – Lukhanyo Am (Cell C Sharks), 12 – Damian de Allende (Munster), 11 – Makazole Mapimpi (Cell C Sharks) , 10 – Handré Pollard (vice-captain, Montpellier) , 9 – Faf de Klerk (Sale Sharks) , 8 – Duane Vermeulen (Vodacom Bulls), 7 – Kwagga Smith (Yamaha Júbilo) ,6 – Siya Kolisi (captain, Cell C Sharks), 5 – Lood de Jager (Sale Sharks), 4 – Eben Etzebeth , 3 – Trevor Nyakane (Vodacom Bulls), 2 – Bongi Mbonambi (DHL Stormers) ,1 – Ox Nché (Cell C Sharks)
16 – Malcolm Marx (Kubota Spears), 17 – Steven Kitshoff (DHL Stormers) , 18 – Vincent Koch (Saracens), 19 – Franco Mostert (Honda Heat) , 20 – Jasper Wiese (Leicester Tigers) , 21 – Herschel Jantjies (DHL Stormers) , 22 – Elton Jantjies (NTT Docomo Red Hurricanes) ,23 – Frans Steyn (Toyota Cheetahs)
Match kicks off on Saturday 2 September 2021 at 9h05 (SA Time), CBUS Super Stadium
Story by Fatima Said
Photo courtesy SA Rugby