NATIONAL NEWS - Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer made two changes to his run-on side for the side's Rugby Championship decider against the All Blacks at Ellis Park in Johannesburg on Saturday.
Lock Juandre Kruger will receive a starting berth in the place of the suspended Flip van der Merwe, while the uncapped Franco van der Merwe has been selected on the bench.
Hooker Bismarck du Plessis and Adriaan Strauss will trade places as part of Meyer's rotational policy, with Strauss moving to the bench.
At the back, JJ Engelbrecht is bracketed at outside centre with Jan Serfontein, while Juan de Jongh will come onto the bench if needed.
“We will give JJ all the time he needs to fully recover from his quad muscle injury, but if he can't make it, Jan will start with Juan on the bench,” Meyer said at the team announcement in Johannesburg on Wednesday.
“Juandré will slot in without any difficulty as he's been part of the squad since day one and I'm very pleased for Franco, who has been training with us for more than a year already.
“Franco's attitude since day one has been fantastic, he's waited patiently and always stayed positive, which is what we as a team stand for. On Saturday, he could make his debut against New Zealand in front of his home crowd at Ellis Park.”
Meanwhile, prop Tendai Mtawarira will earn his 50th Test cap for the Springboks, joining his Sharks front row in the exclusive club.
Brothers Bismarck and Jannie du Plessis reached their 50 Test milestones against Argentina in Mendoza in August and last week against Australia respectively.
Mtawarira will become the 27th Springbok to play in 50 Tests for South Africa.
“What a wonderful achievement for Beast,” Meyer said.
“He is someone who doesn't speak a lot, but you know he always gives everything he has for the Springbok jersey. It's always good to see hard work and dedication pay off like this.”
The Springboks will target a four-try bonus point victory over New Zealand, and needed to prevent their traditional foes from picking up a bonus point, in order for the hosts to claim the trophy for the first time since 2009.
The Springboks will have a sold-out Ellis Park as an ally on Saturday as their record against the All Blacks at this venue suggests.
They have won eight of their 11 encounters at this venue, with the New Zealanders' last victory at Ellis Park dating back to 1997 when they beat the Boks 35-32.
Springbok team: Zane Kirchner, Willie le Roux, JJ Engelbrecht/Jan Serfontein, Jean de Villiers (captain), Bryan Habana, Morne Steyn, Fourie du Preez, Duane Vermeulen, Willem Alberts, Francois Louw, Juandre Kruger, Eben Etzebeth, Jannie du Plessis, Bismarck du Plessis, Tendai Mtawarira. Replacements: Adriaan Strauss, Gurthro Steenkamp, Coenie Oostuizen, Franco van der Merwe, Siya Kolisi, Ruan Pienaar, Patrick Lambie, Jan Serfontein/Juan de Jongh.