Rassie Erasmus has made three changes and a positional switch to the Springbok starting side ahead of the clash against the All Blacks in Wellington.
Makazole Mapimpi returned to South Africa after the 23-18 loss to the Wallabies to receive treatment for a knee injury. Instead of backing Cheslin Kolbe to start – Kolbe replaced Mapimpi in the game at Suncorp Stadium – coach Rassie Erasmus has decided to try something different this week by moving Kriel to the wing.
The move sees Lukhanyo Am coming into the match-day squad and starting at No 13. Am and Damian de Allende were the first-choice midfield combination in the series against England in June.
As expected, Erasmus has brought Pollard back into the starting side at flyhalf for the clash against the All Blacks. Elton Jantjies drops to the bench.
The other change to the starting side is upfront. Hooker Malcolm Marx replaces Bongi Mbonambi.
The only change to the bench sees scrumhalf Ross Cronjé replacing Embrose Papier.
‘We have to deliver a much-improved performance against the All Blacks,’ said Erasmus.
‘Keeping our discipline and retaining possession will be key, because New Zealand’s ability to counter from turnover ball is well-known.
‘That means we have to be patient, our decision-making must be good and we have to capitalise on the opportunities that we create.
‘The traditional rivalry between the two countries means we can expect a huge physical battle.’
Springboks – 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 (c), 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Steven Kitshoff.
Subs: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Beast Mtawarira, 18 Wilco Louw, 19 RG Snyman, 20 Francois Louw, 21 Ross Cronjé, 22 Elton Jantjies, 23 Cheslin Kolbe.
Photo: Johan Pretorius/Gallo Images