Springboks keep faith in Dweba for Wallabies, Gelant starts as 6/2 split is benched

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Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber has made tweaks to his team for Saturday's Rugby Championship Test against the Wallabies in Adelaide.

There are two changes to the starting XV which lost 35-23 to the All Blacks at Ellis Park, with Warrick Gelant starting at right wing in place of the injured Jesse Kriel and a fit-again Faf de Klerk replacing Jaden Hendrikse at scrumhalf.

De Klerk has completed his return to play protocol after missing the second New Zealand Test due to concussion.

Elsewhere, Joseph Dweba retains his starting spot at hooker, with Malcolm Marx remaining on the bench.

The Boks have also binned their six-two forwards-backs bench split in favour of a five-three ratio.

Hendrikse takes over from Herschel Jantjies as scrumhalf cover, while Elton Jantjies will provide flyhalf cover and Frans Steyn comes in as a utility back replacement. Willie le Roux and Jasper Wiese miss out on selection this week.

Springbok team:

15 Damian Willemse, 14 Warrick Gelant, 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 Joseph Dweba, 1 Ox Nche

Substitutes: 16 Malcolm Marx, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 Franco Mostert, 20 Kwagga Smith, 21 Jaden Hendrikse, 22 Elton Jantjies, 23 Frans Steyn

"This is a very important clash for us to set the tone for our Rugby Championship tour and we feel that continuity in selection is important to build momentum in our campaign," said Nienaber.

The coach said Gelant was rewarded for his URC form for the Stormers, while De Klerk's experience will prove vital.

"Warrick was in good form for the Stormers earlier this season and he has been working hard at training, so we thought it would be good to give him a run on the wing. He also combined well with Damian Willemse in the Rugby Championship, so we are excited to see what they offer us in the match.

"Faf, meanwhile, is back from concussion and his experience will be important in this game.

"We also feel it is important to give the likes of Ox (Nche), Joseph (Dweba) and Duane (Vermeulen) another opportunity to further build combinations and give them valuable game time as we build toward the Rugby World Cup next year."

Regarding his decision to switch from a six-two to a five-three split on the bench, Nienaber commented: "We looked at what Australia will bring to the game, and that combined with our need to give Elton and Frans Steyn some vital game time, prompted us to select five forwards and three backs on the bench.

"With Franco (Mostert) and Kwagga (Smith) on the bench, we will have cover at lock and loose forward, while Frans Steyn's versatility will also be handy as he can cover centre and fullback. These changes obviously mean that Willie, Jasper and Herschel lose out, but we know what we have in them and what they bring to the team."

Nienaber said he expected the Wallabies to bounce back after losing to Argentina: "Australia are always a tough force at home and the fact that we haven't beaten them here since 2013 is evidence of that.

"Much like us, they will also want to bounce back after going down against Argentina, so we expect them to come out firing. The fact that this will be the first Test between the teams in Adelaide will serve as extra motivation for both teams this weekend, so we are preparing for another epic encounter against them.

"We had a thorough review of our last match against New Zealand, and we have identified the areas of our game in which we need improve. We know we need to make a big step-up in the quality of our performance to start the tour on a positive note, and that is a big objective for us this weekend."

Saturday's Test at the Adelaide Oval kicks off at 07:30 (SA time).

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