South Africa unchanged for England
LONDON (AFP) –
South Africa coach Heyneke Meyer named Wednesday an unchanged starting line-up for the Springboks’ Test against England at Twickenham on Saturday.
He retained the team that defeated Scotland, 21-10, last weekend with JP Pietersen and Gurthro Steenkamp passed fit after niggling injuries.
The only changes were on the bench, where Pat Cilliers comes in for the injured CJ van der Linde and Elton Jantjies replaces Morne Steyn.
South Africa captain Jean de Villiers will become the fifth most-capped Springbok of all time and most-capped member of the 2012 squad when he plays in his 84th Test.
De Villiers will pass Bryan Habana on 83 caps to move into fifth place behind John Smit (111), Victor Matfield (110), Percy Montgomery (102) and Joost van der Westhuizen (89).
“I’m very chuffed for Jean,” said Meyer. “He took over the captaincy in a challenging year and has been a rock in our team.
“The fact that Jean has played in every Test this season, and finished all of them, is testimony to his amazing resilience and work ethic.
“Jean has been the glue that has kept our team together and for that I salute him,” Meyer added.
Turning to Saturday’s match, former Leicester coach Meyer said: “It’s great to be able to field an unchanged team.
“We’ve been able to show some consistency in selection on this tour and that is a good thing,” said Meyer, whose side started their European autumn series with a 16-12 win over Ireland in Dublin earlier this month.
“The players have worked extremely hard on the training field and it wasn’t easy to select the match 23 for each of the three Tests, but I’m happy that we managed to stick to combinations.
“The plan was always to give Elton a run on the tour. He’s shown earlier in the season that he can play Test rugby.
“It’s also good for his development as a player to experience the conditions here and to play in front of a big crowd like Twickenham,” Meyer added.
England, beaten 20-14 by Australia last weekend, are due to name their side on Thursday.
South Africa (15-1)
Zane Kirchner; JP Pietersen, Juan de Jongh, Jean de Villiers (capt), Francois Hougaard; Pat Lambie, Ruan Pienaar; Duane Vermeulen, Willem Alberts, Francois Louw; Juandre Kruger, Eben Etzebeth; Jannie du Plessis, Adriaan Strauss, Gurthro Steenkamp
Replacements: Schalk Brits, Heinke van der Merwe, Pat Cilliers, Flip van der Merwe, Marcell Coetzee, Elton Jantjes, Jaco Taute, Lwazi Mvovo