South Africa head coach Allister Coetzee has named scrum-half Ross Cronje and lock Pieter-Steph du Toit in the starting line-up for the upcoming Rugby Championship clash against Australia at NIB Stadium.
Cronje, who was part of tournament opener against Argentina missed the second game at Padre Ernesto Martearena Stadium due to an ankle injury but now has claimed his place replacing Francois Hougaard.
Hougaard now moves to the bench with Rudy Paige dropping out of the matchday 23 squad.
Meanwhile, du Toit gets a promotion to the starting XV, taking the place of Franco Mostert and will join skipper Eben Etzebeth in the second row while Lood de Jager replaces Curwin Bosch on the bench.
Flyhalf Handre Pollard also returns to the matchday squad for the first time since the 2015 World Cup and is named among the replacements.
“I am really satisfied with the way he [Pollard] has trained till now and it’s great for the team to have a player of his calibre on the bench,” said Coetzee.
“Franco has played an enormous amount of rugby – at Vodacom Super Rugby level, playing club rugby in Japan and starting all of our Tests matches so far this year,” Coetzee said.
“We have to be sensible in managing the workload of certain players, such as Franco. We are fortunate to have a number of very good locks. Pieter-Steph now gets an opportunity to start again, and we know what he is capable of.”
South Africa squad to face Australia on Saturday:
15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Raymond Rhule, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Ross Cronjé, 8 Uzair Cassiem, 7 Jaco Kriel, 6 Siya Kolisi, 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 Eben Etzebeth (captain), 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Replacements 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Trevor Nyakane, 19 Lood de Jager, 20 Jean-Luc du Preez, 21 Francois Hougaard, 22 Handré Pollard, 23 Damian de Allende.