Bismarck du Plessis (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer has explained his decision to bring hooker Bismarck du Plessis back into the starting team for their Rugby World Cup clash against Scotland.
Adriaan Strauss started in last weekend’s 46-6 win over Samoa, with the mobile Schalk Brits doing duty on the bench.
But Strauss is shifted back the bench for Saturday’s Test in Newcastle, with Du Plessis promoted to the starting team.
“It’s a rotation policy. I know this is the right game for Bismarck. He’s ready to go. We want to rotate those guys to keep them fresh,” Meyer said at a press conference in Newcastle on Wednesday.
“It was an easy choice, they know where they stand. It’s going to be very physical, so this is the right choice for this game.”
The inclusion of Du Plessis was one of three changes to the Bok starting XV.
Jesse Kriel is also back in the starting team, replacing skipper Jean de Villiers, who was ruled out of the tournament with a fractured jaw.
Up front, Lood de Jager comes in at lock, replacing Victor Matfield who is sidelined with a hamstring injury.
New replacements are Pieter-Steph du Toit, Willem Alberts and Jan Serfontein, who provides cover as both centres picked up injuries last week.
Saturday’s clash at St James’ Park - the home of English football side Newcastle United - is scheduled for 17:45 (SA time).
15 Willie le Roux, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Fourie du Preez (captain), 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Schalk Burger (vice-captain), 6 Francois Louw, 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Tendai Mtawarira
Substitutes: 16 Adriaan Strauss, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Frans Malherbe, 19 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 20 Willem Alberts, 21 Ruan Pienaar, 22 Pat Lambie, 23 Jan Serfontein
15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Tommy Seymour, 13 Richie Vernon, 12 Matt Scott, 11
Tim Visser, 10 Duncan Weir, 9 Greig Laidlaw (captain), 8 David Denton, 7
Blair Cowan, 6 Josh Strauss, 5 Jonny Gray, 4 Richie Gray, 3 WP Nel, 2
Fraser Brown, 1 Gordon Reid
Substitutes: 16 Ross Ford, 17 Alasdair
Dickinson, 18 Jon Welsh, 19 Tim Swinson, 20 Ryan Wilson, 21 Sam
Hidalgo-Clyne, 22 Peter Horne, 23 Sean Lamont