South Africa change 14 for second Test against Wales

Pieter-Steph du Toit returns to the starting XV for South Africa
Pieter-Steph du Toit returns to the starting XV for South Africa

South Africa head coach Jacques Nienaber has made 14 changes to the starting line up for the second Test against Wales to be played on Saturday in Bloemfontein.

Eben Etzebeth becomes the only player to retain his place in the starting line up and is joined by Marvin Orie at second row. Bulls captain Marcell Coetzee is part of the back row that also has Pieter-Steph du Toit returning from a shoulder surgery while Evan Roos makes his debut.

A new look front row has Trevor Nyakane along with Sharks prop Thomas du Toit and Stormers hooker Joseph Dweba while Handre Pollard takes over the kicking responsibility with scrum-half Jaden Hendrikse making his first start.

Warrick Gelant starts at fullback with Kurt-Lee Arendse and Aphelele Fassi at right and left wings respectively while Jesse Kriel and Andre Esterhuizen form midfield partnership.

“We said from the outset that we needed to strike a balance between giving our talented young players an opportunity to show what they can do at international level, and winning,” said Nienaber.

“If one looks at the balance between players who have played at this level and those who have performed consistently well for their franchises and clubs, I think we have a nice balance in this squad.

“A number of these players have been with us for a few seasons, while others travelled with us last season to Australia for the Castle Lager Rugby Championship and the year-end tour, and then there are a few new faces who showed during the season that they have the potential to rise to this level of the game, so we are excited to see what they can do on Saturday.

“Wales showed last week that they are fighters and can go for the full 80 minutes and we are expecting nothing different from them this week.

"This will certainly be a good test for the younger players in the group to measure themselves against some of the best players in Wales, some of whom played for the British & Irish Lions, so everyone knows they will be in for a proper Test on Saturday.”

South Africa XV: 15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Kurt-Lee Arendse, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Aphelele Fassi, 10 Handre Pollard (c), 9 Jaden Hendrikse, 8 Evan Roos, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Marcell Coetzee, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Joseph Dweba, 1 Thomas du Toit

Reserves: 16 Malcolm Marx, 17 Ntuthuko Mchunu, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 Ruan Nortje, 20 Rynhardt Elstadt, 21 Deon Fourie, 22 Grant Williams, 23 Damian Willemse