No 'Sevens magic' for Boks
RUGBY CHAMPIONSHIP SPOTLIGHT: Sevens star Ruhan Nel’s Springbok stay has been short-lived.
Nel, one of the surprise selections in the squad for the Round Five encounter with Australia in Port Elizabeth on Saturday, has been sent back to his domestic team – Western Province.
With more than 130-plus appearances for the back-to-back World Series champions, there was hope that Nel’s skill will be unleashed on the Wallabies.
However, he will instead play for WP against the Sharks in a crucial top-of-the-table Currie Cup match at Newlands – just hours before the Boks tackle the Wallabies.
Injuries to Damian De Allende (centre), Lukhanyo Am (centre) and Makazole Mapimpi (wing) prompted the call-up of Nel.
However, it appears Bok coach Rassie Erasmus will plug the gaps from within the settled squad.
There is some concern over the fitness of star No.8 Warren Whiteley, but there has been no formal dispatches from the Bok camp.
It is expected that Whiteley will be required to pass a late fitness test.
With Willie le Roux having been released by his English club Wasps for the remainder of the Rugby Championship, the changes to the backline will centre on wing and midfield.
Cheslin Kolbe, who earned both his Test caps off the bench in Australasia and scored an intercept try in the 36-34 win over the All Blacks, looks set to get his first start on the right wing.
Jessie Kriel will move from the right wing to the outside centre in place of the injured Am, with André Esterhuizen to come in for De Allende at No.12.
The rest of the backline is unchanged.
If Whiteley is passed fit, the forwards may be unchanged from that which beat the All Blacks.
South Africa – probable: 15 Willie le Roux, 14 Cheslin Kolbe, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 André Esterhuizen, 11 Aphiwe Dyantyi, 10 Handré Pollard, 9 Francois de Klerk, 8 Warren Whiteley, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Siyamthanda Kolisi (captain), 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Steven Kitshoff.