Smit starts on the bench

Captain loses starting place as Springboks make five changes

Last Updated: 16/08/11 12:56pm

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Smit: Drops to bench for clash against All Blacks

Smit: Drops to bench for clash against All Blacks

Sky Bet

South Africa captain John Smit has been dropped to the bench for the Springboks' final Tri-Nations contest against New Zealand on Saturday.

Smit suffered an elbow injury during last weekend's 14-9 defeat to Australia, but it was a bout of flu that made him a doubt for the clash against the All Blacks in Port Elizabeth.

The 33-year-old hooker is set to recover in time for the match but has only been named among the replacements, as Bismarck du Plessis comes into the front row in one of five changes to the starting XV.

Gurthro Steenkamp is named in place of Tendai Mtawarira at prop, while experienced lock Victor Matfield will skipper the side in the absence of Smit.

Willem Alberts is handed a start at flanker, while Danie Rossouw drops to the bench and Morne Steyn comes back in at fly-half to replace Butch James.

The final change sees Patrick Lambie start at full-back instead of Frans Steyn, who was ruled out of the clash with a hamstring injury.

The Springboks, playing in their final match before the defence of their World Cup title, will be looking to salvage some pride and avoid a whitewash of four Tri-Nations defeats.

South Africa: 15 Pat Lambie, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Jaque Fourie, 12 Jean de Villiers, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Morne Steyn, 9 Fourie du Preez, 8 Pierre Spies, 7 Willem Alberts, 6 Heinrich Brussow, 5 Victor Matfield (capt), 4 Bakkies Botha, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Gurthro Steenkamp.
Replacements16 John Smit, 17 Tendai Mtawarira, 18 CJ van der Linde , 19 Danie Rossouw, 20 Ashley Johnson, 21 Francois Hougaard, 22 Butch James.

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