Malherbe the rabbit in Heyneke Meyer’s hat

2013-11-06 16:22

Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer has pulled a rabbit out of the hat by giving Western Province tighthead prop Frans Malherbe a test debut for Saturday’s clash against Wales in Cardiff.

Malherbe slots in for the injured Jannie du Plessis in one of five changes to the team that lost 38-27 to the All Blacks at Ellis Park last month.

There are also three changes on the bench.

Jaque Fourie will make his first start in a Bok jersey since the ill-fated 11-9 loss to Australia in the 2011 World Cup quarterfinal.

Flip van der Merwe also comes back into the team after serving a one-match suspension.

Pat Lambie moves to fullback in the place of Zane Kirchner, with the number 15 jersey marking his first start of the season in the green and gold.

Willie le Roux, along with JJ Engelbrecht, drop to the bench, with the former making way for JP Pietersen – who makes a first appearance for the Boks since the 16-15 win against England at Twickenham last November.

Another surprise but deserving entry on the bench is that of Pieter-Steph du Toit, who has been rewarded for his short yet sterling domestic season.

Teams:

Wales:

15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 George North, 13 Jonathan Davies, 12 Scott Williams, 11 Eli Walker, 10 Rhys Priestland, 9 Mike Phillips, 8 Toby Faletau, 7 Sam Warburton (captain), 6 Dan Lydiate, 5 Alun Wyn Jones, 4 Bradley Davies, 3 Adam Jones, 2 Richard Hibbard, 1 Gethin Jenkins

Substitutes: 16 Ken Owens, 17 Paul James, 18 Scott Andrews, 19 Luke Charteris, 20 Justin Tipuric, 21 Lloyd Williams, 22 James Hook, 23 Liam Williams

South Africa:

15 Patrick Lambie, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Jaque Fourie, 12 Jean de Villiers (captain), 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Fourie du Preez, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Willem Alberts, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Flip van der Merwe, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.

Substitutes: 16 Adriaan Strauss, 17 Gurthrö Steenkamp 18 Coenie Oosthuizen, 19 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 20 Siya Kolisi, 21 Ruan Pienaar, 22 JJ Engelbrecht, 23 Willie le Roux

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