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Springboks rotate for African ‘derby’ against Namibia

The Springboks have rotated their squad for Saturday’s must-win cross-border battle with northern neighbours Namibia, making 13 changes to the starting line-up that appeared in the opening Rugby World Cup clash with New Zealand.

Rassie Erasmus, director of rugby, said the Boks have to regain their momentum and decided to give first appearances in the competition to nine players, while Makazole Mapimpi (left wing) and Lukhanyo Am (centre) are the only players from the 23-13 reverse against New Zealand, to make back-to-back starts.

In addition, six of the opening day starting XV re-appear on the bench – including captain Siya Kolisi – while all of last Saturday’s replacements (with the exception of injured Jesse Kriel) are in the starting lineup.

The starting XV features nine of those who started the opening match of the international season; a 35-17 victory over Australia in the Castle Lager Rugby Championship in July.

One of the newcomers to the starting line-up is Schalk Brits, who moves to a new role in the back row at No 8. Brits captains the team for the second time having led the Springboks in the 24-18 victory over Argentina in Pretoria.

Frans Steyn, Francois Louw and Tendai Mtawarira all make second appearances against Namibia – having played in the Rugby World Cup meeting eight years ago – to provide a spine of experience to a team which has another five players yet to reach double figures in caps (Warrick Gelant, Sbu Nkosi, Makazole Mapimpi, Herschel Jantjies and Kwagga Smith).

Brits would cover the replacement hooker position and Franco Mostert (lock) would cover the loose forward positions along with Siya Kolisi, who continues his rehabilitation with more planned game time from the bench.

Thomas du Toit, who only arrived in Nagoya on Tuesday as an injury replacement for Trevor Nyakane, goes straight into the match day 23 as a front row replacement.

The match kicks off at 11h45 (SA time) and is available on SuperSport channel 201 or SABC radio.

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The Springbok team to play Namibia in the City of Toyota Stadium on Saturday is:

15. Warrick Gelant (Vodacom Bulls), 7 caps – 5 points (1 try)

14. Sbu Nkosi (Cell C Sharks) 8 – 35 (7t)

13. Lukhanyo Am (Cell C Sharks), 10 – 5 (1t)

12. Frans Steyn (Montpellier, France), 61 – 136 (10t, 7c, 21p, 3d)

11. Makazole Mapimpi (Cell C Sharks), 9 – 40 (8t)

10. Elton Jantjies (Emirates Lions), 35 – 253 (2t, 48c, 49p)

9. Herschel Jantjies (DHL Stormers), 5 – 20 (4t)

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8. Schalk Brits (captain, Vodacom Bulls), 13 – 5 (1t)

7. Kwagga Smith (Emirates Lions), 4 – 0

6. Francois Louw (Bath, England), 70 – 45 (9t)

5. Lood de Jager (Vodacom Bulls), 40 – 25 (5t)

4. RG Snyman (Vodacom Bulls), 17 – 0

3. Vincent Koch (Saracens, England), 15 – 0

2. Bongi Mbonambi (DHL Stormers), 31 – 20 (4t)

1. Tendai Mtawarira (Cell C Sharks), 112 – 10 (2t)

Replacements:

16. Steven Kitshoff (DHL Stormers), 41 – 5 (1t)

17. Thomas du Toit (Cell C Sharks), 10 – 0

18. Eben Etzebeth (DHL Stormers), 80 – 15 (3t)

19. Siya Kolisi (DHL Stormers), 44 – 25 (5t)

20. Franco Mostert (Gloucester, England), 33 – 5 (1t)

21. Cobus Reinach (Northampton, England), 12 – 15 (3t)

22. Damian de Allende (DHL Stormers), 41 – 20 (4t)

23. Cheslin Kolbe (Toulouse, France), 11 – 25 (5t)

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