Bismarck starts for Boks

Bismarck du Plessis has regained the Springbok No 2 jersey for the match against the All Blacks at Ellis Park on Saturday.

Adriaan Strauss, who started in Perth, Wellington and Cape Town, moves to the bench.

Duane Vermeulen will be given as much time as possible to recover from injury and has been bracketed at No 8 with Schalk Burger. If Vermeulen is ruled out, Burger will start with Warren Whiteley among the substitutes.

'It’s been good to build some form of continuity and we’ll give Duane as much time as possible before making a final call,' said Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer. 'He’s been one of our best players in the last couple of weeks and is responding well to medical treatment, but if he can’t make it, we can fall back on the experience of Schalk to start at No 8. 

'Schalk’s impact last weekend was massive, but so was the rest of the bench and we’ll be looking for more of the same on Saturday.'

Saturday's match will be Bok captain Jean de Villiers’s 50th appearance in the Tri-Nations/Rugby Championship, the most by any South African.

Meanwhile, Lwazi Mvovo has been released to play in the Currie Cup for the Sharks this weekend.

Springboks – 15 Willie le Roux, 14 Cornal Hendricks, 13 Jan Serfontein, 12 Jean de Villiers (c), 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Handré Pollard, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 Duane Vermeulen/Schalk Burger, 7 Oupa Mohoje, 6 Marcell Coetzee, 5 Victor Matfield, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Subs: 16 Adriaan Strauss, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Marcel van der Merwe, 19 Bakkies Botha, 20 Schalk Burger/Warren Whiteley, 21 Cobus Reinach, 22 Pat Lambie, 23 JP Pietersen.

Jon Cardinelli: Bok hopes hinge on Duane 

Photo: Sandra Mu/Getty Images

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