Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer made three changes to the match 22 for Saturday’s second Test in the Castle Incoming Tour against England at Coca-Cola Park in Johannesburg.
The only change to the starting 15 is at fullback, where Pat Lambie replaces the injured Zane Kirchner. Lambie replaced Kirchner after half-time last week and will play in his 13th Test for South Africa.
On the bench, Werner Kruger comes in for the injured Coenie Oosthuizen, while Bjorn Basson takes over from Lambie amongst the replacements.
Neither Kruger nor Basson featured in last weekend’s first Test in Durban, won by 22-17 by the Springboks. Both played in their last Tests for South Africa against New Zealand on the away leg of the Castle Tri-Nations last year.
“We decided against no unnecessary changes as we aim to build some continuity during this season,” said Meyer.
“We still have not had a lot of preparation time, but I’m pleased to have seen how the players have been getting stuck in – on the training field and during our off-field sessions.
“This weekend will be a big challenge yet again against a good England side, but our focus is still on ourselves. We need to show further improvement from last weekend and have to make a step up this weekend.
“We have confidence in all the players in our squad and that is why Pat, Werner and Bjorn have slotted in easily. Everyone knows what is needed this weekend and they have been very sharp at training. We now need to translate that to the match on Saturday.”
The Springbok team to face England in Johannesburg is:
The Springboks have won the last eight consecutive Tests against England. This is a new record for South Africa against England.Record watch
- The last Test match at Coca-Cola Park was in 2009 when the Springboks lost the third Test against the British & Irish Lions in their biggest defeat at this venue (9-28).
- This will be the 44th Test at this venue. South Africa’s record here is: P 43; W 30; L 11; D 2; Win% 70.
- The biggest win by South Africa was against Argentina in 2008 (63-9). The Springboks have scored 140 tries and conceded 58 at Coca-Cola Park.
- South Africa and England played only two Tests at this venue before. In 1972 England won 18-9 and in 1984 South Africa won 35-9.
- The starting 15 boast a combined total of 470 Test caps – 168 amongst the forwards and 302 amongst the backs.
- Alain Rolland of Ireland is the referee. In the 13 Springbok Tests he’s handled, South Africa won seven and lost six. Rolland’s 13 Tests are the most Tests involving the Springboks by any international referee.
- Bryan Habana is South Africa’s most capped Springbok wing with 74 Tests and also most experienced player in the squad with 75 Test caps. He is the Springbok top try scorer with 40 career tries in Tests and all were scored as a wing. He also holds the Springbok record for most career tries in Tests against England – six. Bryan has played in nine Tests against England, together with Francois Steyn, the most of any player in this squad.
- With Morné Steyn’s try in the first Test in Durban, he became South Africa’s top try scorer as a flyhalf with seven career tries. Morné needs two more Tests as flyhalf to equal Butch James’ record of most capped Springbok flyhalf with 37 appearances. This Test will be Morne’s 24th consecutive Test of which only one Test was not at flyhalf.
- Bismarck du Plessis shares the Springbok record for most tries in Tests as a hooker of five with James Dalton and John Smit.
- Pierre Spies is now South Africa’s most capped No 8 with 43 Tests in this position. Pierre holds the record for most Test tries as a No 8. – seven.
- Jean de Villiers will become South Africa’s most capped Springbok centre with 59 caps in this position. Jean scored his 20th Test try for the Springboks last Saturday in Durban.
- Francois Steyn is the only player that has played in all eight consecutive wins against England and, together with Bryan Habana, the only other player in the squad with nine Test caps against England.
- Springbok career record holders at Coca-Cola Park are: Percy Montgomery – 86 points and 18 penalty goals; Chester Williams – eight tries; Butch James – 12 conversions; Joel Stransky and Jannie de Beer – two drop goals each.
- Springbok Test match record holders at Coca-Cola Park are: Gavin Johnson – 28 points; Chester Williams and Jongi Nokwe – four tries each; Butch James – nine conversions; Percy Montgomery and Louis Koen – six penalty goals each; Joel Stransky and Jannie de Beer – two drop goals each.
- The first successful penalty goal by South Africa in this Test will be the 800th Test penalty goal in Springbok history.
- Bismarck and Jannie du Plessis will play together in their record 22nd Test as brothers.
Note: Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer does not have a Twitter account or a Facebook page. Media are urged to disregard any comments made by people impersonating Meyer on such channels.