Cape Town - Springbok coach Allister Coetzee has made it clear that lock Franco Mostert was not dropped from the side for Saturday’s Rugby Championship Test against Australia in Perth.
Pieter-Steph du Toit will start at lock in one of two changes to the Springbok starting XV, the other being the return of Ross Cronje at scrumhalf.
Lood de Jager is included as lock cover on the bench as Mostert gets some deserved rest.
According to Netwerk24, Mostert has played 1 603 minutes of rugby in 2017, far more than all the other locks in the Springbok squad - Eben Etzebeth (1 284), Du Toit (1 058) and De Jager (508).
Mostert has established himself as the starting No 5 lock this year, and has been a stalwart figure in the Lions' Super Rugby season and the Springboks’ five wins so far this year.
“Franco has played an enormous amount of rugby - at Super Rugby level, playing club rugby in Japan and starting all of our Tests matches so far this year,” Coetzee said after naming his team on Thursday.
“We have to be sensible in managing the workload of certain players, such as Franco. We are fortunate to have a number of very good locks. Pieter-Steph now gets an opportunity to start again, and we know what he is capable of.”
Saturday’s Test is scheduled for 12:05 (SA time).
15 Israel Folau, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Kurtley Beale, 11 Reece Hodge, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Will Genia, 8 Sean McMahon, 7 Michael Hooper (captain), 6 Ned Hanigan, 5 Adam Coleman, 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 Scott Sio
Substitutes: 16 Jordan Uelese, 17 Tom Robertson, 18 Allan Alaalatoa, 19 Rob Simmons, 20 Jack Dempsey, 21 Nick Phipps, 22 Samu Kerevi, 23 Curtis Rona
15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Raymond Rhule, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Uzair Cassiem, 7 Jaco Kriel, 6 Siya Kolisi, 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 Eben Etzebeth (captain), 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Beast Mtawarira
Substitutes: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Trevor Nyakane, 19 Lood de Jager, 20 Jean-Luc du Preez, 21 Francois Hougaard, 22 Handre Pollard, 23 Damian de Allende