Cape Town - Springbok coach Allister Coetzee has made 10 changes to the match-23 for Saturday’s second Test in the Outgoing Tour against France in Paris, which include starts for experienced No 8 Duane Vermeulen and flyhalf Handré Pollard.
Coetzee also handed a first Test start to prop Wilco Louw, while Francois Venter has been selected at inside centre.
The Springbok coach also made several positional changes to the match day squad that lost to Ireland in Dublin last weekend.
Upfront, Louw is set to make his starting debut in place of Coenie Oosthuizen, who suffered a serious knee injury in Dublin. And with Pieter-Steph du Toit ruled out with concussion, Vermeulen starts at No 8 in a revamped loose trio combination which sees Francois Louw moving to flank where he will join Siya Kolisi on the side of the scrum.
In the backline, Pollard is in line to make his first start for South Africa since the 2015 Rugby World Cup bronze medal playoff match against Argentina in London, in place of Elton Jantjies. Venter, who made his Test debut in 2016, comes in at No 12 for Damian de Allende.
Jantjies and De Allende are included amongst the replacements, where they will be joined by prop forward Trevor Nyakane and uncapped loose forward Dan du Preez.
Coetzee said Vermeulen brings a lot of experience to the team: “Duane is very experienced and fits in well with our plan for Saturday. He is a great lineout and ball-carrying option to fill the void left by Pieter-Steph, while his leadership and experience will offer great support to Eben Etzebeth.
“His presence and knowledge of the French is also a huge benefit for us. Duane has made good contributions since joining us at the beginning of the week, and I am looking forward to his combination with Siya and Francois,” said Coetzee.
Pollard’s playing opportunities over the past two years has been halted by a series of injuries.
“Handré has trained exceptionally hard the past few months and he is looking forward to the opportunity to once more start in the Springbok jersey,” said Coetzee.
“Elton has started in all 10 Tests so far this season and has made good contributions and I am pleased with his development. However, both flyhalves need playing time to continuously work on their game management in different conditions.”
Louw made a good impression last week in what was only his second Test, and this week he will make his starting debut in Paris.
“Wilco did very well last Saturday and gained valuable experience when he came on as an early replacement for Coenie. He deserves the opportunity to start against a strong French pack of forwards,” said Coetzee.
“Francois is also rewarded for continued good performances. He is a leader is his own right with an exceptional high work rate.”
Kick-off on Saturday is at 22:00 SA time.
15 Nans Ducuing, 14 Teddy Thomas, 13 Geoffrey Doumayrou, 12 Mathieu Bastareaud, 11 Yoann Huget, 10 Anthony Belleau, 9 Antoine Dupont, 8 Louis Picamoles, 7 Kevin Gourdon, 6 Judicael Cancoriet, 5 Paul Gabrillagues, 4 Sebastien Vahaamahina, 3 Rabah Slimani, 2 Guilhem Guirado (captain), 1 Jefferson Poirot
Substitutes: 16 Clement
Maynadier, 17 Sebastien Taofifenua, 18 Daniel Kotze, 19 Paul Jedrasiak,
20 Anthony Jelonch, 21 Baptiste Serin, 22 Francois Trinh-Duc, 23 Damian
15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Dillyn Leyds, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Francois Venter, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Siya Kolisi, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Eben Etzebeth (captain), 3 Wilco Louw 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Tendai Mtawarira
Substitutes: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Trevor Nyakane, 19 Franco Mostert, 20 Dan du Preez, 21 Rudy Paige, 22 Elton Jantjies, 23 Damian de Allende