Rugby Championship: South Africa make five changes for clash with Australia

Last Updated: 07/09/13 3:17pm

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Bismarck du Plessis recalled at hooker

Bismarck du Plessis recalled at hooker

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South Africa coach Heyneke Meyer has made five changes to his line-up for Saturday's Rugby Championship clash with Australia in Brisbane.

Bismarck du Plessis has been recalled at hooker and also takes over the vice-captaincy role from Adriaan Strauss, while Flip van der Merwe has been preferred to Juandre Kruger at lock.

Strauss and Kruger will both be among the replacements, while full-back Zane Kirchner has been handed his first international start of the year after recovering from a hand injury.

Kirchner's return means Willie le Roux moves from full-back to the right wing with Bryan Habana switching to the left, but there is no place in the match-day squad for Bjorn Basson.

Meyer insisted the changes were in line with his rotation policy as he remains determined not to overwork some of his key players.

Fortunate

"A few of these changes are purely rotational in order to give guys with fresh legs a go, while others are simply a case of horses for courses," said Meyer.

"We're fortunate to be in a position to rotate players of the calibre of Bismarck and Adriaan, while we felt this was the right opportunity to give Flip and Zane a go in the starting team.

"In the end, the most important factor still remains consistency in selection. In our squad, any player can slot in at any stage, and that is a good position to be in."

Meyer has demanded a vast improvement from last week's performance in Mendoza, where the Springboks scraped a tense 22-17 victory over Argentina.

"If we are going to progress as a team, we need to start winning away from home and Saturday's Test provides this challenge," Meyer added.

"It's no use looking at history now - we have to focus on the Test, ensure we tick the right boxes and improve in the areas where we let ourselves down in Mendoza."

South Africa: Z Kirchner, W le Roux, JJ Engelbrecht, J de Villiers, B Habana, M Steyn, R Pienaar; Mtawarira, B du Plessis, J du Plessie, E Etzebeth, F van der Merwe, F Louw, W Alberts, D Vermeulen.
Replacements: A Strauss, G Steenkamp, C Oosthuizen, J Kruger, S Kolisi, J Vermaak, P Lambie, J Serfontein.

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