London - Rugby World Cup winners JP Pietersen and Schalk Burger will start Saturday’s second Test in the Castle Lager Outgoing Tour against England at Twickenham as the Springbok match-23 is retained from last weekend.
The five changes to the team are straight swaps between the starting line-up and the bench. Along with Pietersen and Burger, Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer has handed starts to hooker Adriaan Strauss and the halfback pair of Cobus Reinach and Pat Lambie.
Cornal Hendricks, Handré Pollard, Francois Hougaard, Teboho Mohoje and Bismarck du Plessis will start on the bench.
“We’ve accepted our performance against Ireland last weekend was not up to scratch and everyone in the touring squad has put up their hands and dug deep this week,” said Meyer. “We’ve really worked hard at fixing the mistakes we made and the challenge is now to put that into action on Saturday.”
Meyer said the changes were not a knee-jerk reaction following the result in Dublin, but rather in line with rotational changes that he had in mind before the start of the tour.
Strauss, Lambie and Pietersen all started in the Springboks’ last Test at Twickenham, two years ago, while Saturday’s match will be Reinach’s first in the starting team.
“Pat started at Twickenham for us two years ago and did very well,” said Meyer. “He’s playing well at the moment and I wanted to give him the opportunity to start. Pat is tactically very astute and even though he’s still pretty young, he’s got a lot of experience.
“Adriaan, Schalk and JP have all started a number of Tests this year and they will slot in easily - we decided beforehand that we wanted to start all of these players in one of the first two Tests on tour.
“It’s a big occasion for Cobus but he would not have been here if we didn’t believe he could deliver the goods, and he’ll be next to his provincial team-mate in Pat.
“As usual, we’re also expecting our replacements to raise the intensity when they’re sent on and Bismarck, who had a very good game in Dublin especially in the set-pieces, ‘Oupa’, Francois, Cornal and Handré will provide important cover off the bench.”Teams:
15 Willie le Roux, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Jan Serfontein, 12 Jean de Villiers (captain), 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Pat Lambie, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Schalk Burger, 6 Marcell Coetzee, 5 Victor Matfield, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Adriaan Strauss, 1 Beast Mtawarira
Substitutes: 16 Bismarck du Plessis, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Coenie Oosthuizen, 19 Bakkies Botha, 20 Teboho “Oupa” Mohoje, 21 Francois Hougaard, 22 Handré Pollard, 23 Cornal Hendricks