Faf, Damian to battle Blacks

Scrumhalf Faf de Klerk and inside centre Damian de Allende will start against the All Blacks at Kings Park on Saturday.

Coach Allister Coetzee made two injury-enforced changes after centre Jesse Kriel (groin) and scrumhalf Rudy Paige (concussion) were ruled out of the final Rugby Championship Test of the year. 

De Klerk, who was not in the match 23 last week against the Wallabies, replaces Paige. De Allende takes Kriel's spot in the starting lineup, but he will play inside centre with Juan de Jongh shifting to the outside channel.

Bryan Habana was another injury concern, but the veteran winger was declared fit and will start at left wing with Francois Hougaard moving to the right. The rest of the match-day squad remains unchanged.

'Unfortunately for Rudy, he will not have completed his gradual return-to-play protocol by this weekend, which gives Faf another opportunity in the No 9 jersey,' said Coetzee. 'Damian should slot in well next to Juan de Jongh in the midfield as they play together for their Vodacom Super Rugby franchise.

'It is important for us to end the campaign with a good performance.Our set pieces have functioned very well and I am hoping for the same against a very good defensive lineout and scrum from the All Blacks.

'We are playing at home and the boys are looking forward to the encounter against the world’s best team. I would like to see us keep on improving as a team and build on our continuity and converting more of our opportunities into points,' Coetzee added.

Springboks – 15 Pat Lambie, 14 Francois Hougaard, 13 Juan de Jongh, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Warren Whiteley, 7 Oupa Mohoje, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Vincent Koch, 2 Adriaan Strauss (c), 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Subs: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Julian Redelinghuys, 19 Lood de Jager, 20 Willem Alberts, 21 Jaco Kriel, 22 Lionel Mapoe, 23 Willie le Roux.

Photo: Luke Walker/Gallo Images

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Mariette Adams