Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer has rolled out his big guns for the match against the All Blacks.
Flip van der Merwe’s lack of discipline means that Juandre Kruger will get a start in the number five jersey, which could leave a potential debut for Golden Lions lock Franco van der Merwe from the bench.
Adriaan Strauss rotates with Bismarck du Plessis at hooker, which gives the Sharks hooker a chance to get back at the All Blacks.
Tendai “Beast” Mtawarira, who will be earning his 50th test cap, completes the Bok front row’s set of 50 test caps each, with Jannie du Plessis getting his 50th cap in last week’s test against Australia.
While Meyer was happy with his treasured loose head prop reaching the milestone, he acknowledged that Saturday’s test against the All Blacks at Ellis Park will be a true measure of their progress.
Nothing less than a bonus point win will do for the Boks to get their hands on The Rugby Championship, something they haven’t done since 2009.
With Bismarck du Plessis back, the Boks have a powerhouse front row that showed sublime strength in the second half against an Australian scrum that sought to go to ground rather than take the heat.
New Zealand’s front row, with their huge locks anchoring them, will be a different proposition.
Springbok team for Saturday
15. Zane Kirchner, 14. Willie le Roux, 13. JJ Engelbrecht/Jan Serfontein, 12. Jean de Villiers (captain), 11. Bryan Habana, 10. Morné Steyn, 9. Fourie du Preez, 8. Duane Vermeulen, 7. Willem Alberts, 6. Francois Louw, 5. Juandré Kruger, 4. Eben Etzebeth, 3. Jannie du Plessis, 2. Bismarck du Plessis, 1. Tendai Mtawarira
Substitutes: 16. Adriaan Strauss, 17. Gurthrö Steenkamp, 18. Coenie Oosthuizen, 19. Franco van der Merwe, 20. Siya Kolisi, 21. Ruan Pienaar, 22. Pat Lambie, 23. Jan Serfontein/Juan de Jongh
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