Springbok Head Coach Jacques Nienaber has made three changes to the side which brought down Warren Gatland’s Lions last weekend, 27-9.
Unfortunately for the Boks, tireless flanker Pieter-Steph du Toit will be unavailable for the series-deciding encounter after injuring his shoulder in a tackle. Nienaber has elected to shift the hard-working Franco Mostert to the side of the scrum in place of du Toit while the towering Lood de Jager comes into the second row.
The lively Faf de Klerk has been left out of the side after two good shifts in the series. The number 9 jersey will be worn this week by Cobus Reinach – a world-class scrumhalf in his own right who has been itching to have some time out in the middle.
In all probability, Saturday will mark a special milestone in the career of seasoned flyhalf, Morne Steyn, who will have the rare opportunity to experience the second Lions series – quite an achievement considering a tour only rolls around to South Africa once every 12 years.
“This is a massive Test for us with the Castle Lager Lions Series on the line, so it was important for us to maintain consistency in selection following on last week’s performance,” said Nienaber.
“Pieter-Steph du Toit was ruled out due to the shoulder injury he suffered last week, but we are fortunate to have experienced players such as Franco and Lood who can step in and who have the physical presence we need in those roles.
“Cobus is also an experienced player with a calm head and who can handle pressure, and we believe he will be able to dictate play well alongside Handré Pollard, while Herschel Jantjies has been great in adding the necessary spark we need off the bench, and will be asked to fulfil that role again.”