Springboks change five

Cobus Reinach and Pat Lambie will start for the Springboks against England at Twickenham on Saturday.

The Sharks halfbacks replace Bulls duo Francois Hougaard and Handré Pollard, who disappointed in Dublin.

It is Reinach's first Test start at No 9 after making three appearances off the bench this season, and Lambie's first at 10 since November last year against Scotland. Lambie has come on as a flyhalf substitute on three occassions in 2014 – against the Wallabies at Newlands, when he kicked a late drop goal and scored a try, against the All Blacks at Ellis Park, when he slotted a 55m last-minute penalty, and against Ireland last Saturday. 

In other changes to the team that lost 29-15 in Dublin, JP Pietersen replaces Cornal Hendricks on the right wing, Schalk Burger comes in for Teboho Mohoje at openside flank, and Adriaan Strauss starts at hooker ahead of Bismarck du Plessis.

'We’ve accepted our performance against Ireland last weekend was not up to scratch and everyone in the touring squad has put up their hands and dug deep this week,' said coach Heyneke Meyer. 'We’ve really worked hard at fixing the mistakes we made and the challenge is now to put that into action on Saturday.'

Meyer said the changes were not a knee-jerk reaction following the result in Dublin, but rather in line with rotational changes that he had in mind before the start of the tour.

Strauss, Lambie and Pietersen all started in the Springboks’ last Test at Twickenham, two years ago, while Saturday’s match will be Reinach’s first in the starting team.

'Pat started at Twickenham for us two years ago and did very well,' said Meyer. 'He’s playing well at the moment and I wanted to give him the opportunity to start. Pat is tactically very astute and even though he’s still pretty young, he’s got a lot of experience.

'Adriaan, Schalk and JP have all started a number of Tests this year and they will slot in easily – we decided beforehand that we wanted to start all of these players in one of the first two Tests on tour.

'It’s a big occasion for Cobus but he would not have been here if we didn’t believe he could deliver the goods, and he’ll be next to his provincial teammate in Pat.

'As usual, we’re also expecting our replacements to raise the intensity when they’re sent on and Bismarck, who had a very good game in Dublin especially in the set pieces, Oupa, Francois, Cornal and Handré will provide important cover off the bench.'

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

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Photo: Steve Haag/Gallo Images

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