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Nienaber Makes Sweeping Changes For Decider

BY Philip Bendon  ·  Tuesday Jul 12, 2022

Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber has swung the axe once again as he has made eleven changes to the side that lost to Wales in Bloemfontein.

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The World Champions missed a golden opportunity to secure a series victory last weekend.

Wales put in perhaps their best performance in the Wayne Pivac era to secure a first ever victory in the republic.

Attacking rugby was not the order of the day and will be a concern to both coaches going forward. For this weekend however it is all about the result and Nienaber has picked what looks on paper to be his strongest possible XV.

Headlining the team announcement are Eben Etzabeth and Bongi Mbonambi who are in line to win their 100th and 50th caps respectively.

Captain Siya Kolisi returns to the line-up and should offer more direction to a Bok side that looked lost in the second test.

Last week’s captain Handre Pollard remains in the number ten shirt and is once again joined by Jaden Hendrikse in the halfbacks.

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Hendrikse was a real bright spark last weekend and his impeccable box kicking ability will be one of the factors that sees him edge out the incumbent Faf de Klerk.

In the centres Damien De Allende and Lukhanyo Am return to offer stability and go forward. Without Am the Bok attack lacked creativity in the wider channels, whilst De Allende’s ability to break the gainline will be significant addition.

The back three of Damien Willemse, Cheslin Kolbe and Makazole Mapimpi will hoping to get more ball than they did in the first test. All three are capable of ripping defences to shreds when given half a chance.

Nienaber has fully loaded his pack with giants who will look to dominant the contact point. An area South Africa have regularly looked streaks ahead has been that contact point, however Wales have not only matched them here but at times dominated.

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Pieter-Steph Du Toit remains in the backrow but is joined by Jasper Wiese and Kolisi and they are backing up the gargantuan duo of Etzabeth and Lood De Jager.

On the bench the famous bomb squad will be looking to add significant grunt when called upon. Nienaber has once again gone for 6-2 split with Faf De Klerk and Willie Le Roux covering the backline positions.

Only time will tell if the series of changes lead to positive results down the line. As far as continuity goes for this series, the Springboks do not appear to be concerned.

Winning the third test is crucial for both sides, for the hosts they will be welcoming an All-Blacks side who have lost to Ireland for the first time at home.

As all rugby fans know, a hurting All Blacks side is a dangerous one. Thus, ending the series on a high note is exceptionally important.

Springboks – 15 Damian Willemse, 14 Cheslin Kolbe, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Jaden Hendrikse, 8 Jasper Wiese, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Siya Kolisi (c), 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Trevor Nyakane.
Subs: 16 Malcolm Marx, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 Franco Mostert, 20 Kwagga Smith, 21 Elrigh Louw, 22 Faf de Klerk, 23 Willie le Roux.

 

 

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