Lood set for No 5 role

Lood de Jager and Warren Whiteley are expected to start against the All Blacks at Ellis Park this Saturday, reports JON CARDINELLI in Johannesburg.

The Springboks trained at St Peters College on Tuesday afternoon. De Jager spent much of the session at No 5, and is expected to start in that position against New Zealand on the weekend. Flip van der Merwe, who only joined the squad on Monday, is likely to feature from the bench.

With Victor Matfield sidelined with a hamstring injury, De Jager will assume the lineout calling responsibilities. Schalk Burger will replace Matfield as Bok captain, although Burger is likely to lead from blindside flank and not No 8.

On Tuesday, Francois Louw, Burger and Whiteley ran with what appeared to be the starting side. Burger did an outstanding job at No 8 against the Wallabies last week, but has been shifted to flank due to Marcell Coetzee’s injury. Coetzee’s ailment should also provide Whiteley with a rare chance to start in the back row.

There may be a few surprises when the match-day squad is confirmed on Wednesday. Heinrich Brüssow trained with the team on Tuesday, alternating with Louw at openside flank. If Brüssow plays this Saturday, it will mark his first Test since the 2011 World Cup quarter-final against Australia.

Jesse Kriel won his first Test start in Brisbane last week. Another youngster is in line to make his debut in Johannesburg this Saturday. Expect to see tighthead prop Vincent Koch’s name on the team sheet when it is released on Wednesday.

Probable Boks – 15 Willie le Roux, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Handré Pollard, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Warren Whiteley, 7 Schalk Burger (c), 6 Francois Louw, 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Beast Mtawarira.
Subs: 16 Adriaan Strauss, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 Flip van der Merwe, 20 Heinrich Brüssow, 21 Cobus Reinach, 22 Pat Lambie, 23 Cornal Hendricks.
Photo: Chris Hyde/Getty Images

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Jon Cardinelli