Nyakane gets first Boks start

2014-11-19 14:22

After winning 11 caps as a replacement, prop Trevor Nyakane will make his first Test start as one of four changes to the South Africa side to face Italy in Padova on Saturday.

It is a major shuffle from coach Heyneke Meyer, who has also made five changes to his bench following the 31-28 victory over England last weekend.

Nyakane starts at loosehead prop while Coenie Oosthuizen moves up from the bench to replace the injured Jannie du Plessis at tighthead.

Teboho Mohoje returns to the starting line-up at flank in the place of Schalk Burger and Johan Goosen has been selected at fullback as Willie le Roux is given a rest.

Joining the uncapped pair of loose-forward Nizaam Carr and prop Julian Redelinghuys on the bench are prop Gurthro Steenkamp, lock Lood de Jager and Le Roux.

“I’m excited to see what these guys can do on Saturday in what will be a stern test against a fired-up Italy,” Meyer said.

“We planned to make a few shifts for this test as I would like to see if these players can make the step up. The guys coming in deserve their opportunities and seeing that we won't have our overseas-based players available next week against Wales, it made sense to bring a few of them in this week.”

Meyer says he is anxious to see whether his hunch of fielding Goosen, usually a flyhalf, as a fullback will pay off.

“It will also be a good test for Johan, who I've always regarded as a possibility at fullback. He has a great skill set and a massive boot which will come in handy on Saturday if we have to play in wet weather again.”

South Africa started their northern hemisphere tour with a 29-15 defeat in Ireland, before recording their narrow victory over England last time out.

After Italy they have one more fixture for the year against Wales on Nov. 29.

Team: Johan Goosen, JP Pietersen, Jan Serfontein, Jean de Villiers (captain), Bryan Habana, Pat Lambie, Cobus Reinach, Duane Vermeulen, Teboho Mohoje, Marcell Coetzee, Victor Matfield, Eben Etzebeth, Coenie Oosthuizen, Adriaan Strauss, Trevor Nyakane.

Replacements: Bismark du Plessis, Gurthro Steenkamp, Julian Redelinghuys, Lood de Jager, Nizaam Carr, Francois Hougaard, Handrè Pollard, Willie le Roux.

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