Leicester Tigers No.8 Jasper Wiese

Lions series: Jasper Wiese in at No.8 for Springboks

The Springboks have announced their team for the second Test as they seek to level the series with a win over the British & Irish Lions.

Leicester Tigers forward Jasper Wiese will start at No.8 in place of Kwagga Smith, while Ox Nche has been ruled out of Saturday’s match and will be replaced in the starting line-up by Steven Kitshoff.

Nche was one of the standout South African performers in the opening Test of three-match series this past weekend, but he has been unable to recover from a neck injury.

Kitshoff, who will earn his 50th Test cap at Cape Town Stadium on Saturday, will move from the bench to start at loosehead prop, while Vincent Koch comes into the match-day 23.

In all, Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber made three changes to his starting team and six in total to the match-day squad for the key encounter.

Two of these changes are in the front row, where Kitshoff – who made his Test debut against Ireland in 2016 – will mark his career milestone next to Frans Malherbe (prop) and Bongi Mbonambi in a new-look combination for the hosts.

Ox Nche – who packed down with Trevor Nyakane (prop) and Mbonambi over the weekend – was ruled out due to the neck niggle he picked up in the first Test but, fortunately for Nienaber, Mbonambi’s hamstring strain has recovered sufficiently for him to start the match.

The other change in the starting XV is at No 8, where Wiese earns his first Test start after making his debut off the replacements bench against Georgia earlier this month.

Nienaber opted for a six-two split on the bench, where Nyakane and Vincent Koch provide cover at prop, while Marco van Staden takes over from Rynhardt Elstadt as loose-forward cover along with Kwagga Smith, while Herschel Jantjies and Damian Willemse will provide support in the backline.

Damian de Allende, who retains his midfield partnership with Lukhanyo Am, will take one step closer to earning his half century of caps, as he runs on to the field in his 49th Test, while Lood de Jager (replacement lock) will earn his 47th cap if he takes the field.

Ben O’Keeffe from New Zealand has been appointed as the referee for the match, with Mathieu Raynal (France) and Nic Berry (Australia) serving as his assistant referees, while Marius Jonker (South Africa) will be the TMO.

South Africa: 15 Willie Le Roux, 14 Cheslin Kolbe, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Faf de Klerk; 1 Steve Kitshoff, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 3 Frans Malherbe, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 5 Franco Mostert, 6 Siya Kolisi (c), 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 8 Jasper Wiese

Replacements: 16 Malcolm Marx, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 Lood de Jager, 20 Marco van Staden, 21 Kwagga Smith, 22 Herschel Jantijes, 23 Damian Willemse

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