Thursday 14 December 2017

South Africa unchanged for England clash at Twickenham

Alex Lowe

SOUTH AFRICA have named an unchanged starting line-up for Saturday's QBE international against England.

Eben Etzebeth, who was last night cleared at a disciplinary hearing of making contact with the eyes of Scotland fly-half Greig Laidlaw, starts in the second row.

The Springboks line-up for their last Test of the year includes Bath flanker Francois Louw while Saracens hooker Schalk Brits is on the bench.

The only changes from South Africa's 21-10 victory over Scotland are on the bench, where Pat Cilliers comes in for the injured CJ van der Linde and Elton Jantjies replaces Morne Steyn.

"It's great to be able to field an unchanged (starting) team," said Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer, the former Leicester Tigers director of rugby.

"We've been able to show some consistency in selection on this tour and that is a good thing.

"The plan was always to give Elton a run on the tour. He's shown earlier in the season that he can play Test rugby.

"It's also good for his development as a player to experience the conditions here and to play in front of a big crowd like Twickenham."

South Africa captain Jean de Villiers will become the fifth most-capped Springbok of all time when he leads the team out in in his 84th Test.

"I'm very chuffed for Jean,"

"He took over the captaincy in a challenging year and has been a rock in our team. The fact that Jean has played in every Test this season, and finished all of them, is testimony to his amazing resilience and work ethic.

"Jean has been the glue that has kept our team together and for that I salute him."

South Africa team to play England in the QBE international at Twickenham on Saturday, November 24 (KO 2.30pm):

Z Kirchner (Blue Bulls); JP Pietersen (The Sharks), J de Jongh (Western Province), J de Villiers (Western Province, captain) F Hougaard (Blue Bulls); P Lambie (The Sharks), R Pienaar (Ulster); G Steenkamp (Toulouse), A Strauss (Cheetahs), J du Plessis (The Sharks), E Etzebeth (Western Province), J Kruger (Blue Bulls), F Louw (Bath), W Alberts (The Sharks), D Vermeulen (Western Province).

Replacements: S Brits (Saracens), H van der Merwe (Leinster), P Cilliers (Western Province), F van der Merwe (Blue Bulls), M Coetzee (The Sharks), E Jantjies (Golden Lions), J Taute (Golden Lions), L Mvovo (The Sharks).

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