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Coenie at tighthead for Boks

  • 20 Nov 2013
Coenie Oosthuizen will make his first Test start after 13 appearances off the bench Coenie Oosthuizen will make his first Test start after 13 appearances off the bench

The Springboks have made five changes to their starting line-up for the Test against France in Paris on Saturday.

Beast Mtawarira, Bismarck du Plessis, Eben Etzebeth and Morné Steyn all return, while Coenie Oosthuizen will start at tighthead prop after Frans Malherbe was ruled out through injury. Uncapped prop Lourens Adriaanse comes onto the bench.

'This is a great opportunity for Coenie and we believe he’s ready to make the step up to a starting role in the team,' said Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer. 'I’m also very happy for Lourens, who has been part of the squad for almost the entire season. He’s waited patiently for an opportunity and what better way to make your debut than against France in Paris.'

Meyer said he had rotated the squad during the final three Tests of 2013 in order to keep the players fresh.

'Gurthrö [Steenkamp], Adriaan [Strauss], Bakkies [Botha] and Pat [Lambie] did very well last week against Scotland and will have an important role to play this week [off the bench],' said Meyer. 'We have been quite fortunate with injuries this year and I’m very happy that we’ve managed to keep the continuity in selection. Most of the players have received ample game time and showed they have what it takes to perform at Test level.'

Springboks – 15 Willie le Roux, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Jaque Fourie, 12 Jean de Villiers (c), 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Willem Alberts, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Flip van der Merwe, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Beast Mtawarira.
Subs: 16. Adriaan Strauss, 17 Gurthrö Steenkamp, 18 Lourens Adriaanse, 19 Bakkies Botha, 20 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 21 Siya Kolisi, 22 Jano Vermaak, 23 Pat Lambie.

Stats and facts:

– The Springbok starting team boasts a total of 695 Test caps (447 in the backline and 248 in the forwards), while there are a further 201 caps worth of experience on the bench. The 447 caps in the backline equals the record that was set against Wales earlier this month.

South Africa and France last met on 12 June 2010 at Newlands in Cape Town. The Springboks outscored France by 42-17 and five tries to two.

Jean de Villiers will extend his record as the most-capped Springbok centre, with 80 Tests in this position. He will be the captain for the 24th consecutive time. This will put him in fourth place on the list of Springbok captains, behind John Smit (83), Gary Teichmann (36) and Francois Pienaar (29). Jean and Jaque Fourie will also extend their SA record of 28 Tests as a centre pairing.

Bryan Habana will extend his record as the most-capped Springbok wing, with 93 Tests in this position (he started at outside centre once) and if he scores a try, will extend his record of 53 Test tries for South Africa. He needs two tries to equal the career record of Pieter Rossouw’s six tries against France.

Morné Steyn will extend his record as the most-capped Springbok flyhalf, with 51 Tests in the position. If he scores a try, he will also extend his record of eight Test tries as a flyhalf for South Africa.

– If he scores a try, Bismarck du Plessis will extend his record of nine Test tries for South Africa as a hooker.

– If he takes to the field and scores a try, Gurthrö Steenkamp will extend his own record of six tries as a prop for South Africa.

– If Jaque Fourie scores a try he will extend his record of 28 Test tries for South Africa as a centre. He is currently third on the list of all-time Test try scorers for the Springboks, behind Bryan Habana (53) and Joost van der Westhuizen (38).

– The referee is Wayne Barnes of England. This will be his ninth Test involving South Africa. The Springboks have won five and lost three. The last game was on 10 November 2012 against Ireland, which the Springboks won 16-12.

Photo: Scott Heavey/Getty Images

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