Steenkamp and De Jongh start for Boks vs Scots
EDINBURGH (AFP) –
South Africa coach Heyneke Meyer has recalled Gurthro Steenkamp and Juan de Jongh to his starting XV to play Scotland at Murrayfield on Saturday in two changes to the side that beat Ireland.
Steenkamp replaces CJ van der Linde at loosehead prop after the latter took over as late replacement for Tendai Mtawarira, who has since returned home following the heart problems that saw him miss the 16-12 win over Ireland in Dublin last weekend.
Meanwhile de Jongh has replaced Jaco Taute at outside centre.
Both van der Linde and Taute have been included on the bench.
“It’s great to have Gurthro back — we wanted to select him last week, but unfortunately he was not 100 percent fit,” Meyer explained after announcing his side on Wednesday.
“Gurthro is experienced, knows the conditions well and is looking forward to returning to the Green and Gold as he’s not played for South Africa for more than a year.”
Meyer added: “Juan is in a similar position. Even though he’s played in a number of Tests for us this year, he’s not started for the Boks since last year’s away leg of the Tri-Nations against New Zealand in Wellington.
“My plan has always been to give him a start on this tour, as he’s been playing very well lately, and I’m excited to see what he brings to the team on Saturday.”
South Africa will be up against a Scotland side good enough to score three tries against world champions New Zealand at Murrayfield last weekend, albeit the All Blacks won 51-22.
Scotland beat South Africa the last time they met the Springboks, winning 21-17 at Murrayfield two years ago in a match where Australia-born outside-half Dan Parks, who has since retired from Test rugby, kicked all the Scots’ points.
Meyer was wary of the threat posed by Scotland, saying: “We saw the match between Scotland and New Zealand and that the Scots scored three tries against the All Blacks — which is more than any other team has managed against them this year.
“It was their first Test back since their season started and they will not be an easy opponent on Saturday, but we’ve also brushed off some cobwebs in Dublin and have had a good week on the training field.
“We lost on our last visit to Edinburgh and realise Saturday will be a massive battle, but it’s one we are looking forward to.”
Scotland coach Andy Robinson is due to name his side later Wednesday.
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, CJ van der Linde, Flip van der Merwe, Marcell Coetzee, Morne Steyn, Jaco Taute, Lwazi Mvovo