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Springboks change five for France Test

Springboks change five for France Test

Faf de Klerk France

South Africa have made five changes to their team to take on France in Marseille with Faf de Klerk and Willie le Roux coming back into the starting line-up.

The pair both featured off the bench against Ireland last week in a 19-16 loss, but will start at scrum-half and full-back respectively.

There are three more changes up front, with Ox Nche and Bongi Mbonambi coming into the front row, and Franco Mostert given the nod in the second row in the absence of the injured Lood de Jager.

Le Roux’s inclusion means a switch to the wing for Cheslin Kolbe, while on the bench, former South Africa Under-20s fly-half Manie Libbok is in line for his debut.

Marvin Orie and Cobus Reinach are also both set for their first appearances of the Autumn Nations Series for Jacques Nienaber’s side.

And the Springbok head coach knows that his team will have to be at their best against a French team that has won their last 11 Tests.

“France have showed in the last year what a force they can be, and they come off a morale-boosting victory against Australia, so we know we are in for,” said Nienaber.

“Facing France, who are ranked second in the world, on their home patch at what we expect will be a full stadium is great preparation for next year, as the players will experience first-hand what they are in for.

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“We will also be playing at this stadium during the World Cup, so this match will be good for us in many ways.”

Explaining the changes made, Nienaber was confident that the tactical adjustments will help South Africa bounce back from their narrow loss in Dublin.

“One of the changes was injury-enforced as Lood suffered a shoulder injury against Ireland, while we opted to make a few tactical personnel changes for the challenge that we expect France to pose,” said Nienaber.

“We know what each of the players in this squad can do, and we thought these combinations fit this specific game.

“A guy like Cobus will also bring a different dimension to our attack, and it a bonus that he knows the conditions in France and has also played with some of their players.

“Manie, meanwhile, has showed his big match temperament in the Vodacom United Rugby Championship and he has been training well since joining the team, so if he gets a run, it will be a great occasion to make his Test debut. It is going to be a challenging game, but it doesn’t get better than playing against the second ranked team in the world on your debut.”

Springbok team to face France in Marseille:

15 – Willie le Roux (Toyota Verblitz)
14 – Cheslin Kolbe (Toulon)
13 – Jesse Kriel (Canon Eagles)
12 – Damian de Allende (Wild Knights)
11 – Kurt-Lee Arendse (Vodacom Bulls)
10 – Damian Willemse (DHL Stormers)
9 – Faf de Klerk (Canon Eagles)

1 – Ox Nche (Cell C Sharks)
2 – Bongi Mbonambi (Cell C Sharks)
3 – Frans Malherbe (DHL Stormers)
4 – Eben Etzebeth (Cell C Sharks)
5 – Franco Mostert (Honda Heat)
6 – Siya Kolisi (captain, Cell C Sharks)
7 – Pieter-Steph du Toit (Toyota Verblitz)
8 – Jasper Wiese (Leicester Tigers)


16 – Malcolm Marx (Kubota Spears)
17 – Steven Kitshoff (DHL Stormers)
18 – Vincent Koch (unattached)
19 – Marvin Orie (DHL Stormers)
20 – Kwagga Smith (Shizuoka Blue Revs)
21 – Cobus Reinach (Montpellier)
22 – Manie Libbok (DHL Stormers)
23 – Makazole Mapimpi (Cell C Sharks)

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