Beast, Bongi and Lood rewarded with Bok starts

Bongi Mbonambi (Getty)
Bongi Mbonambi (Getty)

Cape Town - Front-rowers Tendai 'Beast' Mtawarira and Bongi Mbonambi, as well as lock Lood de Jager, have been promoted to the Springboks' 'senior' starting pack for Friday's must-win Rugby World Cup clash with Italy in Shizuoka.

The inclusion of the three tight forwards are the only changes to the starting XV that did duty in the opening Pool B meeting with New Zealand, which will provide the Boks with a massive forward challenge.

Mtawarira, Mbonambi and De Jager leapfrog Steven Kitshoff, Malcolm Marx and Franco Mostert respectively, who are all expected to make an impact from the bench after the interval.

Two players drop out from the New Zealand match 23 completely, with Trevor Nyakane (who has returned home with a calf injury) and Jesse Kriel (hamstring) not considered because of injury.

Nyakane is replaced by Vincent Koch, while there is not a direct replacement for Kriel.

Coach Rassie Erasmus has opted for only two back replacements on the bench and six forwards. De Jager, who carried the water against New Zealand, is the other new name to the line-up along with Koch.

The Springboks must win to have any hopes of qualifying for the quarter-finals.

The teams have met 14 times before, with South Africa winning 13, although that solitary defeat (in Florence in 2016) was with a team featuring 10 of Friday's Bok selection.

The match kicks off at 11:45 (SA time) on Friday.


South Africa

15 Willie le Roux, 14 Cheslin Kolbe, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Tendai Mtawarira

Substitutes: 16 Malcolm Marx, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 RG Snyman, 20 Franco Mostert, 21 Francois Louw, 22 Herschel Jantjies, 23 Frans Steyn



- SA Rugby

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