CAPE TOWN, South Africa ( Associated Press) — South Africa made 11 changes to its 15 starters on Tuesday and brought back captain Siya Kolisi and a host of other first-choice players for the third decider of the series against Wales.
Forwards Bongi Mbonambi and Frans Malherbe, lock Lood de Jager, loose forwards Kolisi and Jasper Wiese, and backs Makazole Mapimpi, Damian de Allende, Lukhanyo Am, Cheslin Kolbe and Damian Willemse were called up to start in Cape Town on Saturday. .
They returned after coach Jacques Nienaber rested them for the second test while making complete changes to his starting line-up and paid for it as Wales leveled the series 1-1 with a 13-12 win at Bloemfontein.
The Springboks’ squad for the decider is much closer to full strength, although substitute scrum-half Jaden Hendrikse was retained and will start at the Cape Town Stadium ahead of regular No. 9 Faf de Klerk. Handré Pollard is opening.
Wing back Pieter-Steph du Toit is also making a fresh start after returning from injury in last weekend’s surprise defeat, which was South Africa’s first at home to Wales. The defeat saw the world champion Springboks knocked off the top of the world rugby rankings.
“We had an honest discussion with the players, telling them what we require of them this weekend and what we would like to see in terms of their performance,” Nienaber said, “and hopefully they can produce the goods and we can get the desired one. result.”
Lock Eben Etzebeth is set to play his 100th Test and become the seventh South African to do so. Hooker Mbonambi will play his 50.
The Springboks will also have a nearly full reserve bench after Nienaber started two no-limit players and placed four other debutants on the bench last weekend.
South Africa: Damian Willemse, Cheslin Kolbe, Lukhanyo Am, Damian de Allende, Makazole Mapimpi, Handré Pollard, Jaden Hendrikse; Jasper Wiese, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Siya Kolisi (captain), Lood de Jager, Eben Etzebeth, Frans Malherbe, Bongi Mbonambi, Trevor Nyakane. Reserves: Malcolm Marx, Steven Kitshoff, Vincent Koch, Franco Mostert, Kwagga Smith, Elrigh Louw, Faf de Klerk, Willie le Roux.
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