South African Rugby
Boks name unchanged XV for England
November 21, 2012
Eben Etzebeth is included after he was cleared of foul play © PA Photos
South Africa boss Heyneke Meyer has named the same XV that defeated Scotland at the weekend ahead of their match with England on Saturday at Twickenham.
The Boks had doubts over the fitness of winger JP Pietersen and prop Gurthro Steenkamp in the run up to naming their team, but both have been passed fit to face England. And Eben Etzebeth was also a doubt after he was cited following South Africa's win over Scotland, but he was cleared of eye-gouging and retains his place in the locks.
And while Meyer has retained the same XV, he has made two changes to the bench. Pat Cilliers comes in for CJ Van der Linde to offer a different option in the front-row while Elton Jantjies replaces Morne Steyn.
"It's great to be able to field an unchanged team," Meyer said. "We've been able to show some consistency in selection on this tour and that is a good thing. 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."
Jean de Villiers will captain the side from the centres and he will become the fifth most-capped Springbok of all time and the most-capped member of the 2012 squad in what will be his 84th Test.
"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."
South Africa: Zane Kirchner, JP Pietersen, Juan de Jongh, Jean de Villiers (captain), Francois Hougaard, Pat Lambie, Ruan Pienaar, Gurthro Steenkamp, Adriaan Strauss (vice-captain), Jannie du Plessis, Eben Etzebeth, Juandre Kruger, Francois Louw, Willem Alberts, Duane Vermeulen
Replacements: Schalk Brits, Heinke van der Merwe, Pat Cilliers, Flip van der Merwe, Marcell Coetzee, Elton Jantjies, Jaco Taute, Lwazi Mvovo
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