Boks add experience for Paris battle
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus added plenty of experience to his team to tackle France in Paris on Saturday.
The experienced trio of Willie le Roux, Francois de Klerk and Franco Mostert are back in the Springbok starting team that will play at the Stade de France.
The inclusion of Le Roux, De Klerk and Mostert – with close to 100 Test caps between them – are the only changes to the run-on team.
Le Roux takes over the No.15 duties from Damian Willemse, while De Klerk comes in at scrumhalf to replace Ivan van Zyl – with the rest of the backline kept unchanged.
Mostert replaces Eben Etzebeth, who sustained a foot injury in last weekend’s 12-11 loss to England at Twickenham, in the only change to the pack.
With the availability of the Boks’ European-based players, Erasmus also announced three changes to the replacements.
Vincent Koch (prop), Francois Louw (loose forward) and Cheslin Kolbe (utility back) are set to provide impact off the bench.
“It’s good to have the experienced players back in the starting team for France,” said Erasmus.
“I thought Damian and Ivan did very well last week against England, but you need as much experience as possible playing away from home.
“We are building squad depth for the World Cup and they will be back in the mix as the tour progresses.”
Etzebeth was not considered because of the injury he picked up against the English, which forced him to leave the field early at Twickenham.
“We believe it would be better not to rush Eben back as we still have two Tests left on the tour after the match against France,” said Erasmus.
“Franco has started in eight of our 11 Tests this year and he starts with Pieter-Steph du Toit, who is obviously also a good option to move to loose forward later in the match.”
The Bok mentor described France as a dangerous side and said the home side will provide the Springboks with formidable opposition on Saturday.
“The French are very physical and skilful, and we will have to be good on defence and also be disciplined,” said Erasmus.
“The conditions here in the northern hemisphere demand a different approach and while we created a lot of opportunities last week we have to better with our execution.”
South Africa: 15 Willie le Roux, 14 Sibusiso Nkosi, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Aphiwe Dyantyi, 10 Handré Pollard, 9 Francois de Klerk, 8 Warren Whiteley, 7 Duane Vermeulen, 6 Siyamthanda Kolisi (captain), 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Steven Kitshoff.
Replacements: 16 Mbongeni Mbonambi, 17 Thomas du Toit, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 Rudolph Snyman, 20 Francois Louw, 21 Embrose Papier, 22 Elton Jantjies, 23 Cheslin Kolbe.
Date: Saturday, November 10
Venue: Stade de France, Paris
Kick-off: 21.00 (22.00 SA time, 20.00 GMT)
Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)
Assistant referees: Matthew Carley (England), Tom Foley (England)
TMO: Rowan Kitt (England)