Wandisile Simelane will start on the wing in one of six changes to the Junior Springboks’ XV to face France in the U20 Championship on Thursday.
With Muller du Plessis ruled out of the crucial tie with a gluteal muscle injury, Simelane again shifts from centre to wing as he did during the win against Ireland. That sees Manuel Rass start in the midfield with Lyle Hendricks.
Lubabalo Dobela will make his first start at flyhalf as he replaces the injured Damian Willemse, with David Coetzer coming in on the bench.
There are three changes to the forward pack with PJ Steenkamp coming into the loose trio and Ruan Vermaak partnering up with captain Salmaan Moerat in the second row.
The other change in the team is at hooker, where Schalk Erasmus comes in for Daniel Jooste, who suffered a rib injury in training on Tuesday.
Wing Sihle Njezula, meanwhile, makes a welcome return to the match-day squad among the replacements after recovering from the ankle injury he suffered against Georgia.
Coach Chean Roux is expecting a physical encounter against the French in front of their home crowd.
‘It is a big challenge to face the host nation. They will be passionate and so will their supporters, and as a team, they are big and strong. But we are looking forward it, and we are excited about the match.
‘I think we are moving in the right direction as a team, and getting better as the tournament progresses, although we still haven’t played to our full potential. The important thing will be to put in a proper 80-minute performance, as opposed to playing in patches.’
Junior Springboks – 15 Gianni Lombard, 14 Tyrone Green, 13 Manuel Rass, 12 Lyle Hendricks, 11 Wandisile Simelane, 10 Lubabalo Dobela, 9 Zak Burger, 8 Muller Uys, 7 PJ Steenkamp, 6 Dian Schoonees, 5 Ruan Vermaak, 4 Salmaan Moerat (c), 3 Asenathi Ntlabakanye, 2 Schalk Erasmus, 1 Nathan McBeth.
Subs: 16 Tiaan van der Merwe, 17 Alulutho Tshakweni, 18 Sazi Sandi, 19 Ruan Nortje, 20 Ben-Jason Dixon, 21 Rewan Kruger, 22 David Coetzer, 23 Sihle Njezula.
Photo: Remy Gabalda/Getty Images