Cape Town - Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus has explained his decision to recall flyhalf Handre Pollard to his starting team for Saturday’s Rugby Championship encounter against the All Blacks in Wellington.
READ: Only 1 Bok coach has a winning record against All Blacks in professional era
Elton Jantjies reverts back to the bench after starting at No 10 in last weekend’s 23-18 defeat to the Wallabies in Brisbane.
"Elton is a guy with wonderful vision and he can dictate a game really well, but Handre brings that physicality, that size, that direct play we need against the All Blacks,” Erasmus said on Thursday, as quoted by the Stuff.co.nz website.
In other changes, centre Jesse Kriel moves to the wing to replace the injured Makazole Mapimpi, with Lukhanyo Am returning in the No 13 berth.
The only change to the pack sees Malcolm Marx rotating starting places with Bongi Mbonambi in the No 2 jersey and amongst the reserves, Ross Cronje swaps places with Embrose Papier as the backup scrumhalf.
Erasmus was under no illusions about the task at hand on Saturday: "It's going to be an uphill battle against a team who is No 1 in the world who dictate almost every facet of the game. But this team is pretty much our strongest available and fit team. I really think after this game we will know where we stand with South African rugby," the Bok mentor added.
Saturday’s Test is scheduled for 09:35 (SA time).
15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Ben Smith, 13 Anton Lienert-Brown, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 Rieko Ioane, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read (captain), 7 Sam Cane, 6 Liam Squire, 5 Scott Barrett, 4 Sam Whitelock, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Karl Tu'inukuafe
Substitutes: 16 Liam Coltman, 17 Tim Perry, 18 Ofa Tu'ungafasi, 19 Patrick Tuipulotu, 20 Ardie Savea, 21 TJ Perenara, 22 Jack Goodhue, 23 Damian McKenzie
15 Willie le Roux, 14 Jesse Kriel 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Aphiwe Dyantyi, 10 Handré Pollard, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Warren Whiteley, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Steven Kitshoff
Substitutes: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Beast Mtawarira, 18 Wilco Louw, 19 RG Snyman, 20 Francois Louw, 21 Ross Cronjé, 22 Elton Jantjies, 23 Cheslin Kolbe