Cape Town - The form of Springbok centres Damian de Allende and Lionel Mapoe was not good enough and they therefore had to be dropped, coach Allister Coetzee has said.
Coetzee was speaking after naming his team for Saturday’s Rugby Championship Test against Australia in Brisbane.
The coach made four changes to the team that went down to Argentina in Salta.
Juan de Jongh and Jesse Kriel replace De Allende and Mapoe in midfield, while Francois Hougaard comes into the side as replacement for Ruan Combrinck, who suffered a fractured leg against the Pumas. Hougaard will play on the left wing, meaning the experienced Bryan Habana moves over to the right.
In the only change amongst the forwards, tighthead prop Lourens Adriaanse will earn his first start for the Springboks in place of Vincent Koch.
“Looking at the impact that Juan and Jesse made when they came off the bench in Nelspruit and Salta, then I think now is the right time to give them a starting opportunity,” Coetzee told SuperSport Blitz in Brisbane on Thursday. "Damian and Lionel had four Tests together and we’re not really satisfied with the form shown in that department, so it’s a great opportunity for Juan and Jesse. Both have Test experience and I think Jesse showed some great form last year when he played against the Australians."
De Jongh is also expected to calm down flyhalf Elton Jantjies, who has struggled for consistency in recent weeks.
“For me it’s about Juan de Jongh’s leadership abilities at 12, to help and guide Elton and to settle him down, I think that also played a big role in terms of the selections for this weekend,” said Coetzee.
Coetzee believes the Springboks will benefit from the versatility of Hougaard, who has already played 35 Tests.
"Francois covers two positions for us, on the wing and scrumhalf and apart from that he has other good attributes," the coach said.
Saturday’s Test at Suncorp Stadium is scheduled for 12:05.
15 Israel Folau, 14 Dane Haylett-Petty, 13 Samu Kerevi, 12 Bernard Foley, 11 Reece Hodge, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Will Genia, 8 David Pocock, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Dean Mumm, 5 Adam Coleman, 4 Kane Douglas, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Stephen Moore (captain), 1 Scott Sio
Substitutes (from): 16 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 17 James Slipper, 18 Allan Alaalatoa, 19 Rory Arnold, 20 Lopeti Timani, 21 Sean McMahon, 22 Nick Phipps, 23 Tevita Kuridrani, 24 Drew Mitchell
15 Johan Goosen, 14 Bryan Habana, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Juan de Jongh, 11 Francois Hougaard, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Warren Whiteley, 7 Oupa Mohoje, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Lourens Adriaanse, 2 Adriaan Strauss (captain), 1 Tendai Mtawarira
Substitutes: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Trevor Nyakane, 19 Franco Mostert, 20 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 21 Jaco Kriel, 22 Morne Steyn, 23 Lionel Mapoe