The Springbok match 22 to face the Wallabies in Brisbane this weekend shows an astonishing nine changes to the unit that lost against New Zealand on Saturday. Sharks players Ruan Pienaar and Ryan Kankowski have been elevated to the starting lineup.
Coach Peter de Villiers seems to have finally heeded the calls to drop under-performing scrumhalf Ricky Januarie and has dropped his favourite mechanic not only from the starting lineup, but from the 22 entirely. Pienaar starts in his favourite position of scrumhalf, with Bulls utility back Francois Hougaard covering off the bench.
Further changes to the run-on team see BJ Botha replacing CJ van der Linde at tight head prop, Kankowski coming in for Francois Louw in the somewhat unfamiliar position of blind side flank and Gio Aplon replacing the suspended Jean de Villiers on the right wing.
On the bench, Flip van der Merwe comes in for the injured Andries Bekker, while Dewald Potgieter is the fourth loose forward, as Louw is the second player to find himself out of the 22 altogether after starting last week. The final change sees Juan de Jongh occupy the number 22 jersey worn by Aplon last week. John Smit will again captain the team from hooker – this will be his 99th test appearance.
The Springbok team is:
15 Zane Kirchner (Vodacom Bulls) – 9 caps
14 Gio Aplon (Vodacom Stormers) – 6 caps
13 Jaque Fourie (Vodacom Stormers) – 59 caps
12 Wynand Oliver (Vodacom Bulls) – 31 caps
11 Bryan Habana (Vodacom Stormers) – 62 caps
10 Morné Steyn (Vodacom Bulls) – 17 caps
9 Ruan Pienaar (The Sharks) – 42 caps
8 Pierre Spies (Vodacom Bulls) – 33 caps
7 Ryan Kankowski (The Sharks) – 14 caps
6 Schalk Burger (Vodacom Stormers) – 59 caps
5 Victor Matfield (Vodacom Bulls) – 97 caps
4 Danie Rossouw (Vodacom Bulls) – 50 caps
3 BJ Botha (Ulster) – 24 caps
2 John Smit (The Sharks, captain) – 98 caps
1 Gurthrö Steenkamp (Vodacom Bulls) – 27 caps
16 Chiliboy Ralepelle (Vodacom Bulls) – 14 caps
17 CJ van der Linde (Vodacom Cheetahs) – 61 caps
18 Flip van der Merwe (Vodacom Bulls) – 2 caps
19 Dewald Potgieter (Vodacom Bulls) – 5 caps
20 Francois Hougaard (Vodacom Bulls) – 1 cap
21 Butch James (Bath) – 39 caps
22 Juan de Jongh (Vodacom Stormers) – 4 caps