Bok coach Jacques Nienaber opts for continuity in second Wallabies clash

Mahlatse Mphahlele Sports reporter
Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber is expecting a tough Rugby Championship tour to Australia.
Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber is expecting a tough Rugby Championship tour to Australia.
Image: Image: David Rogers/Getty Images

Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber has made only three changes to his match-day squad for the Rugby Championship clash against Australia in Brisbane on Saturday.

Nienaber opted for continuity as the Boks aim to immediately bounce back from last  weekend’s disappointing defeat to the Wallabies.

In the two changes in the starting XV, Marvin Orie takes over at lock from Lood de Jager, who has started his concussion return to play protocol, and Trevor Nyakane was named at loosehead prop. Steven Kitshoff was named among the replacements in place of Ox Nché.

Nyakane, who boasts 48 Test caps, and Orie, who last ran out for the Springboks in the second Test against Argentina in Nelson Mandela Bay, will be looking to make their presence felt in a game where set pieces and contact points are expected to be crucial.

Nienaber again opted for a six-two split of forwards on the bench where Marco van Staden, Kwagga Smith and Jasper Wiese will add impetus along with front rowers Kitshoff, Malcolm Marx and Vincent Koch, while Herschel Jantjies and Damian Willemse will provide cover in the backline.

“This is an experienced group of players who know 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.

“Trevor is a Rugby World Cup-winning prop and his experience, along with Steven’s experience off the bench, will be valuable against the Wallabies, who place a big emphasis on the scrums, much like we do.

“Marvin has also been in our system for a while. He has been working hard at training and this will be another great opportunity for him.

“We identified the areas in which we need to be more effective this week, and we have been working hard at training to rectify the mistakes we made. The crucial for us will be to be as competitive as possible in every contest in the match so we can lay a good foundation to attack from, and to use our point-scoring chances.”

Nienaber expects another quality performance from the Wallabies.

“Australia were desperate to win last week, and it showed in the way they played,” he 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.

“We know what we are capable of as a team, and we created sufficient opportunities to win last week, but didn’t capitalise on them. We back our systems and structures, and it is now a matter of being as effective as possible in executing our plan.

“We are expecting another grind of a match, but we are ready for the challenge.

“Our next three games will be similar to playing a quarterfinal, semifinal and final. We are under no illusions about what it will take to defend our Castle Lager Rugby Championship title.”

Springbok XV: 15. Willie le Roux, 14. Sbu Nkosi, 13. Lukhanyo Am, 12. Damian de Allende, 11. Makazole Mapimpi, 10. Handré Pollard, 9. Faf de Klerk, 8. Duane Vermeulen, 7. Franco Mostert, 6. Siya Kolisi, 5. Marvin Orie, 4. Eben Etzebeth, 3. Frans Malherbe, 2. Bongi Mbonambi, 1. Trevor Nyakane

Replacements: 16. Malcolm Marx, 17. Steven Kitshoff, 18. Vincent Koch, 19. Marco van Staden, 20. Kwagga Smith, 21. Jasper Wiese, 22. Herschel Jantjies, 23. Damian Willemse