Springboks change eight for New Zealand clash

Heyneke Meyer has made eight changes for South Africa’s match against the All Blacks this weekend.
Of the three changes to the starting XV, only the pack sees a reshuffle with the backline unchanged.
Heinrich Brüssow will make his first appearance in the Springbok jersey since the Rugby World Cup in 2011, taking over the openside flanker role from Bath’s Francois Louw, who shifts to the blindside. At the rear of the scrum will be stand-in no.8 and stand-in captain Schalk Burger.
Burger replaces the injured Victor Matfield in captaining the side – who lost 24-20 to Australia in their Rugby Championship 2015 opener – meaning Lood de Jager steps into the second row.
The remaining five changes are made to the bench where promising tighthead Vincent Koch replaces Stormers team-mate Frans Malherbe. Koch is joined on the bench by Trevor Nyakane, Flip van der Merwe, Warren Whiteley and Cornal Hendricks.
Head coach Meyer remained relaxed on the surface despite a growing casualty list: “Injuries have forced our hand a bit, but we’ve stuck with our planned rotational policy on the bench and it will be great to see what Heinrich, Vincent and Flip can do.”
“The breakdown battle will again be huge and it will be good to see Heinrich and Francois play together. They are versatile players and I am convinced they will combine perfectly,” added the Springbok coach.
Ellis Park plays host for the fixture as it did in 2014, where South Africa recorded a two-point victory over their fierce rivals thanks to a 55-metre penalty by Patrick Lambie late in the game.
“This will be a massive test – every match against the All Blacks is,” said Meyer.
“We played some great rugby last weekend, but this week we have to put in an 80-minute effort. We have to be especially focused in the last 10 minutes, because New Zealand always finish strongly.
Kick-off in Johannesburg on Saturday is at 16:05.
South Africa: 15 Willie le Roux, 14 Cornal Hendricks, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Ruan Pienaar; 1 Tendai Mtawarira, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 5 Lood de Jager, 6 Heinrich Brussow, 7 Francois Louw, 8 Schalk Burger (Capt.).
Replacements: 16 Adriaan Strauss, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 Flip van der Merwe, 20 Warren Whiteley, 21 Cobus Reinach, 22 Pat Lambie, 23 Cornal Hendricks.
By Adam Ellis

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