Springboks make wholesale changes for Wallabies
SPRINGBOKS coach Rassie Erasmus has made wholesale changes to his side for Saturday's Rugby Championship fixture against the Wallabies in Brisbane.
In all, Erasmus has made six changes to his starting side from the team that suffered a 32-19 loss to the Pumas in Mendoza.
The 13-point defeat saw the Springboks drop to seventh on the World Rugby rankings.
While Erasmus said he had to shelve his plans to experiment with his side because of the defeat, the new Springboks coach appears to have named his side with one eye on next week's Test against the All Blacks.
His counterpart, Michael Cheika, has made three changes including dropping vice-captain Bernard Foley to the bench and promoting Matt Toomua.
SPRINGBOKS (15-1): Willie le Roux, Makazole Mapimpi, Jesse Kriel, Damian de Allende, Aphiwe Dyantyi, Elton Jantjies, Faf de Klerk, Warren Whiteley, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Siya Kolisi (c), Franco Mostert, Eben Etzebeth, Frans Malherbe, Bongi Mbonambi, Steven Kitshoff
Reserves: Malcolm Marx, Tendai Mtawarira, Wilco Louw, RG Snyman, Francois Louw, Embrose Papier, Handré Pollard, Cheslin Kolbe
WALLABIES (15-1): Israel Folau, Dane Haylett-Petty, Reece Hodge, Matt Toomua, Marika Koroibete, Kurtley Beale, Will Genia, David Pocock, Michael Hooper (c), Lukhan Tui, Adam Coleman, Rory Arnold, Allan Alaalatoa, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Scott Sio
Reserves: Folau Faingaa, Tom Robertson, Taniela Tupou, Izack Rodda, Ned Hanigan, Joe Powell, Bernard Foley, Jack Maddocks
There are three changes in the forward pack, including two in the front-row.
Star hooker Malcolm Marx has been shifted to the bench to allow Stormers rake Bongi Mbonambi to start while his provincial teammate Steve Kitshoff will pack down alongside him after Tendai Mtawarira was also named on the reserves.
The other change to the forward pack sees Bath loose-forward Francois Louw dropping to the bench, with Pieter-Steph du Toit promoted to the starting side.
His inclusion at blindside flanker sees captain Siya Kolisi shift to the open-side flank.
In the backline, Lions playmaker Elton Jantjies has earnt a recall to the side with Handre Pollard dropped to the bench.
Erasmus has dropped his midfield combination completely, with the experienced combination of Damien de Allende and Jesse Kriel returning ahead of the Sharks centre pairing Andre Esterhuizen and Lukhanyo Am.
Meanwhile, the elusive Cheslin Kolbe is in line to make his debut after being named on the bench alongside halfback Embrose Papier and his Bulls halves partner Pollard.
Erasmus said the Springboks were aware of the onball threat that the Wallabies pose by playing two fetchers - David Pocock and Michael Hooper - and needed to be accurate in stopping the back-row duo.
"We are looking for a good response on Saturday against the Wallabies and I am sure that this side will be up to the task," Erasmus said.
"Australia, playing at home, will no doubt be highly motivated to bounce back, so we have to be ready for a huge contest.
"We have worked hard to rectify our errors of last week and we know the set piece and breakdown battles are going to especially be important.
"The Wallabies are known for their abilities at the breakdown and we will have to be accurate and disciplined in those areas."