Springbok coach Peter de Villiers has made 10 changes to his team for the third and final Test against the British and Irish Lions in Johannesburg on Saturday.
Jan de Koning reports for rugby365.com:
The changes mean a Test debut for Bulls fullback Zane Kirchner, as well as a first Test start for flyhalf Morné Steyn and hooker Chiliboy Ralepelle.
The backline changes – six in all – have Zane Kirchner at fullback for Francois Steyn, Odwa Ndungane on the right wing for JP Pietersen, a new centre combination of Jaque Fourie and Wynand Olivier (for Adi Jacobs and Jean de Villiers), Jongi Nokwe on the left wing for Bryan Habana, and Morné Steyn for Ruan Pienaar at flyhalf.
Scrumhalf Fourie du Preez is the only back to have been retained.
The loose forward combination have also been revamped – Ryan Kankowski at No.8 for Pierre Spies (who is feeling the after-effects of a knock), Juan Smith at blindside flank and Heinrich Brüssow at openside for the suspended Schalk Burger.
Victor Matfield will be partnered in the second row by Johann Muller, in place of suspended Bakkies Botha – who lost his appeal on Thursday against the two-match ban.
The front row shows just one change – Chiliboy Ralepelle for Bismarck du Plessis at hooker.
De Villiers, in explaining the rash of changes, said he “respects” the Lions, but wanted to give every player in his 28-man squad a run against the tourists.
“When we stand there on Saturday and collect the trophy [for winning the series], I want every player to feel that he has made a contribution,” the Bok coach said.
He denied that the changes had weakened the team.
“If you take a good look at the team – player by player – tell me where did we weaken the side,” the Bok coach hit back.
He said he had changed his mind “four or five times this week”, as he pondered the selection for the final Test.
South Africa: 15 Zane Kirchner, 14 Odwa Ndungane, 13 Jaque Fourie, 12 Wynand Olivier, 11 Jongi Nokwe, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Fourie du Preez, 8 Ryan Kankowski, 7 Juan Smith, 6 Heinrich Brüssow, 5 Victor Matfield, 4 Johann Muller, 3 John Smit (captain), 2 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Replacements: 16 Bismarck du Plessis, 17 Gurthrö Steenkamp, 18 Deon Carstens, 109 Steven Sykes, 20 Pierre Spies, 21 Ruan PienaaR, 22 Francois Steyn.
Date: Saturday, July 4
Venue: Coca-Cola Park, Johannesburg
Kick-off: 15.00 (13.00 GMT)
Referee: Stuart Dickinson (Australia)
Assistant referees: Christophe Berdos (France), Vinny Munro (New Zealand)
TMO: Bryce Lawrence (New Zealand)