South Africa drop Morne Steyn for Rugby Championship clash with Australia and give Johan Goosen first start

Last Updated: 29/09/12 11:39am

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Johan Goosen: Replaces Morne Steyn in the South Africa side

Johan Goosen: Replaces Morne Steyn in the South Africa side

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Johan Goosen will start his first game for South Africa when they take on Australia in the Rugby Championship today.

Springboks coach Heyneke Meyer opted to leave regular fly-half Morne Steyn out of his side after a much-publicised dip in form.

Meyer's side lost 21-11 to New Zealand in Dunedin two weeks ago, when Steyn was one of a number of players to miss kicks at goal that could have made a huge difference to the final scoreline.

Meyer makes two other changes with lock Eben Etzebeth back after suspension and Andries Bekker recalled to join him in the second-row, with Flip van der Merwe and Juandre Kruger left out.

Lions centre Jaco Taute also is in line for a first Test cap at Loftus Versfeld if Francois Steyn doesn't recover from a right ankle injury.

"I have maintained from the outset that I will not rush Johan, but I feel he is now ready to start a Test and I am excited to see what he can bring," said Meyer.

"Morne has played close to 140 matches at Test, Super 15 and Currie Cup level in the last four seasons and probably deserves a break. Morne is a fighter and I know he will bounce back."

South Africa: Kirchner; Habana, de Villiers (capt), F Steyn or Taute, Hougaard; Goosen, Pienaar; Mtawarira, Strauss, du Plessis, Etzebeth, Bekker, Louw, Alberts, Vermeulen. Replacements: Liebenberg, Oosthuizen, van der Merwe, Coetzee, Jantjies, Taute or de Jongh, Lambie.

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