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Springboks make two starting changes

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 14/09/2016 Daniel Gilhooly

South Africa have freshened up their engine room, making two changes to the tight five to face the All Blacks in the Rugby Championship Test in Christchurch.

Stormers pair Pieter-Steph du Toit and Vincent Koch will start Saturday's Test while uncapped Lions hooker Malcolm Marx comes onto an overhauled bench.

Eighteen-Test lock Du Toit replaces Lood de Jager, who suffered a bruised knee in last week's 23-17 loss to Australia in Brisbane.

Koch, who has joined English champion club Saracens, will play his fifth Test in place of prop Lourens Adriaanse, who drops to the bench and pushes out Trevor Nyakane.

A Springboks side seeking to avoid a third-straight loss on the road will once again feature six forwards on the reserves bench.

The recalled Willem Alberts fills the void left by du Toit while Damian de Allende usurps Lionel Mapoe as outside back cover and Marx's promotion comes at the expense of Bongi Mbonambi.

Flanker Francois Louw will play his 50th Test, while it is the 120th cap for Bryan Habana. The most capped winger in history will move to eighth on the list of all Test players.

It is otherwise an experienced Springboks starting side, boasting 488 combined caps compared to New Zealand's 726.

Coach Allister Coetzee says the fact many of his 23 players haven't faced the All Blacks is a cause for excitement this week.

However, he says they must blend that with composure.

"We know that our discipline was not on par against the Wallabies in Brisbane, and we have to show a big improvement on several fronts," he said.

"Our defence will have to be solid for the full duration of the match, because the All Blacks have the game breakers that will punish you for any defensive lapse."

Springboks: Johan Goosen, Bryan Habana, Jesse Kriel, Juan de Jongh, Francois Hougaard, Elton Jantjies, Faf de Klerk, Warren Whiteley, Oupa Mohoje, Francois Louw, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Eben Etzebeth, Vincent Koch, Adriaan Strauss (capt), Tendai Mtawarira. Reserves: Malcolm Marx, Steven Kitshoff, Lourens Adriaanse, Franco Mostert, Willem Alberts, Jaco Kriel, Morne Steyn, Damian de Allende.

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