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Springboks change 2 in starting lineup for Australia rematch

·2 min read

BRISBANE, Australia (AP) — South Africa coach Jacques Nienaber made two changes to his starting lineup on Wednesday for the second Rugby Championship test against Australia, when the Springboks will be without key lineout forward Lood de Jager.

Lock de Jager is unavailable for the game in Brisbane on Saturday because of concussion protocols and his place was taken by Marvin Orie. Nienaber brought loosehead prop Trevor Nyakane in to start for Steven Kitshoff, who was moved to the bench in the only other change. Ox Nché dropped out of the matchday 23.

The world champion Springboks were upset 28-26 by the Wallabies on Sunday with a last-minute penalty from recalled fylhalf Quade Cooper. That was South Africa's first loss of the championship and left New Zealand as the only unbeaten team after three rounds.

“Australia were desperate to win last week and it showed in the way they played,” Nienaber said. “There is no doubt the result would have given them confidence so we are expecting them to deliver a similarly driven performance this week."

Nienaber persevered with the same backline, including flyhalf Handre Pollard, who was below-par in the defeat on the Gold Coast. He also went with the same reserve bench — apart from Kitshoff replacing Nché there — and the same 6-2 split of forwards and backs.

Nienaber said he was banking on the Boks' experience to put right a surprise loss to the Wallabies.

“This is an experienced group of players who knows what it takes to deliver under pressure and we all know what we need to do to bounce back from last week’s defeat,” Nienaber said.

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South Africa: Willie le Roux, Sbu Nkosi, Lukhanyo Am, Damian de Allende, Makazole Mapimpi, Handre Pollard, Faf de Klerk; Duane Vermeulen, Franco Mostert, Siya Kolisi (captain), Marvin Orie, Eben Etzebeth, Frans Malherbe, Bongi Mbonambi, Trevor Nyakane. Reserves: Malcolm Marx, Steven Kitshoff, Vincent Koch, Marco van Staden, Kwagga Smith, Jasper Wiese, Herschel Jantjies, Damian Willemse.

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More AP sports: https://apnews.com/hub/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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