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Springboks drop Pollard for England Test

Cobus Reinach and Pat Lambie will start for South Africa against England at Twickenham on Saturday.

The Sharks half-backs replace Bulls duo Francois Hougaard and Handré Pollard who disappointed in last week’s 29-15 defeat to Ireland in Dublin.

Head coach Heyneke Meyer has made three further changes to his starting XV with JP Pietersen replacing Cornal Hendricks on the right wing, Schalk Burger coming in for Teboho Mohoje at openside and Adriaan Strauss starting at hooker ahead of Bismarck du Plessis.

“We’ve accepted our performance against Ireland last weekend was not up to scratch and everyone in the touring squad has put up their hands and dug deep this week,” said Meyer.

“We’ve really worked hard at fixing the mistakes we made and the challenge is now to put that into action on Saturday.

“Pat started at Twickenham for us two years ago and did very well,’ said Meyer. ‘He’s playing well at the moment and I wanted to give him the opportunity to start. Pat is tactically very astute and even though he’s still pretty young, he’s got a lot of experience.

“Adriaan, Schalk and JP have all started a number of Tests this year and they will slot in easily – we decided beforehand that we wanted to start all of these players in one of the first two Tests on tour.

“It’s a big occasion for Cobus but he would not have been here if we didn’t believe he could deliver the goods, and he’ll be next to his provincial team-mate in Pat.

“As usual, we’re also expecting our replacements to raise the intensity when they’re sent on and Bismarck, who had a very good game in Dublin especially in the set-pieces, Oupa, Francois, Cornal and Handré will provide important cover off the bench.”

South Africa: Willie le Roux; JP Pietersen, Jan Serfontein, Jean de Villiers (Capt.), Bryan Habana; Pat Lambie, Cobus Reinach; Tendai Mtawarira, Adriaan Strauss, Jannie du Plessis; Eben Etzebeth, Victor Matfield; Marcell Coetzee, Schalk Burger, Duane Vermeulen.

Replacements: Bismarck du Plessis, Trevor Nyakane, Coenie Oosthuizen, Bakkies Botha, Teboho Mohoje, Francois Hougaard, Handré Pollard, Cornal Hendricks.

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