No Duane Vermeulen as Springboks make three changes for British Lions series decider
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CAPE TOWN – The Springboks have made three changes to the starting lineup for the Series-decider against the British & Irish Lions on Saturday (kick-off 6pm).
Injuries to the influential Pieter-Steph du Toit and Faf de Klerk have kept the duo out of the matchday squad, while there is also a positional switch, with Franco Mostert moving from lock to blindside flank.
Du Toit took a knock to the shoulder in the second Test last weekend, while De Klerk has been ruled out due to a muscle strain in his leg. He has been replaced at scrumhalf by Cobus Reinach.
Notably, the Boks have gone with a five-three split, with Morne Steyn (flyhalf) joining Herschel Jantjies (scrumhalf) and Damian Willemse (utility back) among the replacements.
On the changes, head coach Jacques Nienaber said: “Pieter-Steph du Toit was ruled out due to the shoulder injury he suffered last week, but we are fortunate to have experienced players such as Franco and Lood who can step in and who have the physical presence we need in those roles.
“Cobus is also an experienced player with a calm head and who can handle pressure, and we believe he will be able to dictate play well alongside Handré Pollard, while Herschel Jantjies has been great in adding the necessary spark we need off the bench, and will be asked to fulfil that role again.”
Springbok team to face the British & Irish Lions:
Starting XV: 15 Willie le Roux, 14 Cheslin Kolbe, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Handré Pollard, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Jasper Wiese, 7 Franco Mostert, 6 Siya Kolisi, 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Steven Kitshoff
Replacements: 16 Malcolm Marx, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 Marco van Staden, 20 Kwagga Smith, 21 Herschel Jantjies, 22 Morné Steyn, 23 Damian Willemse