DURBAN Scrumhalf Faf de Klerk and centre Damian de Allende have been recalled to the South African side for Saturday’s final Rugby Championship clash against New Zealand at King’s Park in Durban.
The pair had been dropped by coach Allister Coetzee for the 18-10 victory over Australia last weekend after poor performances in the championship, but will have a chance to impress again.
De Klerk replaces Rudy Paige, who suffered a concussion against the Wallabies, while De Allende takes the place of the injured Jesse Kriel. His inclusion means Juan de Jongh moves to outside centre.
“Unfortunately for Rudy, he will not have completed his gradual return to play protocol by this weekend, which gives Faf another opportunity in the number nine jersey,” Coetzee said.
“Damian should slot in well next to Juan de Jongh in the midfield as they play together for their (Stormers) Super Rugby franchise.”
Aside from Bryan Habana and Francois Hougaard swapping wings, the rest of the match-day squad was kept unchanged from the line-up that defeated Australia.
Coetzee is hoping that the side will match New Zealand in the set-plays after winning those duels against the Wallabies.
“Our set-piece have functioned very well and I am hoping for the same against a very good defensive lineout and scrum from the All Blacks.”
The match will be the last home test match for Springbok hooker Adriaan Strauss, who will retire from international rugby at the end of the season.
South Africa are hoping to wrap up second place in the championship with a victory. New Zealand have already claimed the 2016 title and defeated the Springboks 41-13 in Christchurch last month.
Team: 15-Pat Lambie, 14-Francois Hougaard, 13-Juan de Jongh, 12-Damian de Allende, 11-Bryan Habana, 10-Morne Steyn, 9-Faf de Klerk; 8-Warren Whiteley, 7-Oupa Mahoje, 6-Francois Louw, 5-Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4-Eben Etzebeth, 3-Vincent Koch, 2-Adriaan Strauss (captain), 1-Tendai Mtawarira.
Replacements: 16-Bongi Mbonambi, 17-Steven Kitshoff, 18-Julian Redelinghuys, 19-Lood de Jager, 20-Willem Alberts, 21-Jaco Kriel, 22-Lionel Mapoe, 23-Willie le Roux.
(Reporting by Nick Said, editing by Pritha Sarkar)