Springbok head coach Allister Coetzee has made just one change to his matchday squad for Saturday’s Test against France in Durban.
Lionel Mapoe will replace Jesse Kriel at outside centre in the only change to the Springbok line-up which claimed a 37-14 triumph over les Bleus in Pretoria last weekend.
Mapoe returns to the Springbok starting line-up as replacement for Kriel, who is unavailable after he suffered a blow to the head last Saturday at Loftus Versfeld.
All five players who made their Test debuts last weekend – Andries Coetzee (full-back), Raymond Rhule (right wing), Courtnall Skosan (left wing), Ross Cronje (scrum-half) and Dillyn Leyds (utility back) – were retained by Coetzee, who said he wanted to maintain continuity and build momentum.
“We kept changes to a minimum and one change to the squad means we can continue to work on our continuity, which is so important,” he said.
“This is a new group, so playing together again means that the important combinations are gaining more experience. It is also nice to reward good performances and all of them deserve another opportunity.”
Coetzee said the Springboks worked hard during training this week and called for improvements in all areas of their game, especially as the French are expected to be bolstered this week with the inclusion of several players from Clermont and Toulon, who were not available for the opening Test.
With Kriel not available for the Durban encounter, the Springbok coach explained that the decision to select Mapoe next to Serfontein was an easy one.
“Jan Serfontein had a very good match at inside centre in Pretoria and we wanted a specialist at No 13 as replacement for Jesse, so Mapoe is a logical choice. It also means we’re preventing making two changes to the team,” added Coetzee.
South Africa: 15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Raymond Rhule, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Warren Whiteley (c), 7 Oupa Mohoje, 6 Siya Kolisi, 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Tendai Mtawarira
Replacements: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Coenie Oosthuizen, 19 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 20 Jean-Luc du Preez, 21 Francois Hougaard, 22 Frans Steyn, 23 Dillyn Leyds
Date: Saturday, June 17
Venue: Kings Park, Durban
Kick-off: 17:00 local (15:00 GMT)
Referee: Ben O’Keeffe (New Zealand)
Assistant Referees: Glen Jackson (New Zealand), Angus Gardner (Australia)
TMO: Rowan Kitt (England)