SPRINGBOK coach Peter de Villiers has resisted the temptation to make wholesale changes to this weekend's starting line-up against the All Blacks after a poor showing in the Tri-Nations opener in Auckland last Saturday.
After being beaten in most aspects of the game, De Villiers must have considered making more than the three changes he announced in the squad named yesterday in Wellington.
With Bakkies Botha out through suspension, Danie Rossouw gets a call-up to earn his 50th cap, while the injured Jannie du Plessis is replaced by CJ van der Linde. On the bench Ryan Kankowski takes the place of Rossouw.
Asked if he had been tempted to make more changes after the defeat, De Villiers said: "No. We trust the ability of our players and we know what they are capable of when they are on song. They let themselves down last week and the All Blacks were very good in Auckland. I am sure we will be much better on Saturday and (will) show that we are able to stand up from the loss. You don't become a bad team overnight," he said.
For Springbok captain John Smit, the Westpac Stadium Test offers his side a chance to redeem themselves and restore some pride in the green and gold jersey.
Following the 12-32 loss, the side would have been hurting.
Botha's disgraceful off-the-ball incident with All Black scrumhalf Jimmy Cowan will be remembered as a low point in his career, while Smit acknowledged that their play "can't get any worse".
"We have to return to basics and make sure we play to our potential. We have a great team ethic and our discipline was good when you consider the amount of penalties we gave away compared to the percentage of ball we had," Smit said.
The All Blacks will only name their starting line-up tomorrow to give a couple of injured players a chance to recover.
The Springbok team is: Zane Kirchner, Jean de Villiers, Jaque Fourie, Wynand Olivier, Bryan Habana, Morne Steyn, Ricky Januarie, Pierre Spies, Francois Louw, Schalk Burger, Victor Matfield, Rossouw, Van der Linde, Smit, Gurthrö Steenkamp. Reserves: Chiliboy Ralepelle, Brendan "BJ" Botha, Andries Bekker, Ryan Kankowski, Ruan Pienaar, Butch James and Gio Aplon.