Lock Eben Etzebeth will captain the Springboks against France on Saturday. Photo: Frans Lombard, ANA

Springbok captain Warren Whiteley has been ruled out of today's third and final Test against France at Ellis Park.

The rangy No 8 has aggravated a groin strain, and Bok coach Allister Coetzee decided to rather withdraw him from the team, SA Rugby announced on Twitter on Saturday.

The decision was probably made a bit easier by the fact that the South Africans have already secured a 2-0 series triumph after a 37-14 victory over the French at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria two weeks ago, which was followed by a 37-15 win at Kings Park in Durban last Saturday.

As a result, lock Eben Etzebeth will captain the Springboks for the first time in his career in his 57th Test match.

Whiteley has been managed throughout the series for his groin strain that he aggravated on Thursday after a lineout session.

“Warren is indeed a big loss for us. However, our preparations this week went very well and hasn’t been disrupted,” Coetzee said in a statement.

The loose trio has now been re-jigged as well, with Jean-Luc du Preez moving to No 8 from blindside flank, with Jaco Kriel coming into the starting XV from the bench on the side of the scrum.

Interestingly, Coetzee has opted to bring in a lock in Lood de Jager on the bench, with Pieter-Steph du Toit ostensibly covering the loose trio among the substitutes.

The match kicks off at 5pm.

Revised Springbok Team

15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Raymond Rhule, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 Jean-Luc du Preez, 7 Jaco Kriel, 6 Siya Kolisi, 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Eben Etzebeth (captain), 3 Ruan Dreyer, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.

Bench: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Coenie Oosthuizen, 19 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 20 Lood de Jager, 21 Rudy Paige, 22 Frans Steyn, 23 Dillyn Leyds

IOL Sport

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