Spies and Pienaar to face England
November 23, 2010
Ruan Pienaar returns at scrum-half © Getty Images
South Africa coach Peter De Villiers has resisted the urge to make wholesale changes to his side to face England at Twickenham on Saturday.
In minor surgery to the starting line-up defeated by Scotland at Murrayfield, Bulls No.8 Pierre Spies has been recalled ahead of Ryan Kankowski and will link up with Ulster scrum-half Ruan Pienaar, who replaces Francois Hougaard.
Tendai Mtawarira has been named at loose-head despite earlier fears that a knee injury would rule him out of contention.
South Africa are currently protecting a six-match winning streak against England and De Villiers believes that his side has the quality to make it seven against their resurgent hosts.
"There is no panic," he said. "This team has all the ability we need - but what we all know is that we have to execute more accurately than we did against Scotland. That game is behind us now but we've looked hard at the lessons of it and know that we can't allow let ourselves to make as many mistakes in our basic execution."
De Villiers did however praise the strides made by England since their summer tour to Australia. Martin Johnson's side have so far beaten the Wallabies and Samoa this November, losing to the All Blacks, while South Africa were run close by Ireland and Wales before slipping to defeat in Edinburgh.
"England have made good progress since they started their tour to Australia this year and will be full of confidence," De Villiers said. "A full Twickenham will ensure that this is the toughest Test of the tour for us.
"But Saturday's performance wasn't a true reflection of the talent in this squad and the players want to put that right and end the Test season on a high."
South Africa: Z Kirchner (Blue Bulls); G Aplon (Western Province), F Steyn (Racing Metro), J de Villiers (Western Province), L Mvovo (Sharks); M Steyn (Blue Bulls), R Pienaar (Ulster); T Mtawarira (Sharks), B du Plessis (Sharks), J du Plessis (Sharks), B Botha (Blue Bulls), V Matfield (Blue Bulls, capt), D Stegmann (Blue Bulls), J Smith (Cheetahs), P Spies (Blue Bulls)
Replacements: A Strauss (Cheetahs), CJ van der Linde (Cheetahs), F van der Merwe (Blue Bulls), W Alberts (Sharks), F Hougaard (Blue Bulls), P Lambie (Sharks), A Jacobs (Sharks)
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