Frans Malherbe will face a huge test in the scrums from England prop Mako Vunipola. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Frans Malherbe is back in the Springbok team to take on England in the second Test against England in Bloemfontein on Saturday, while Tendai Mtawarira will earn his 100th Test cap.

Coach Rassie Erasmus has largely stuck to the side that came from 24-3 behind to win the first Test 42-39 at Ellis Park last week.

Malherbe replaces Wilco Louw, who Erasmus described as “punch-drunk” following a hectic playing and travel schedule in recent weeks, in the No 3 jersey. It will be a big test of Malherbe’s ability, as he hasn’t played much rugby in 2018 and will come up powerful English No 1 Mako Vunipola.

The only ‘unforced’ change comes at blindside flank, where Pieter-Steph du Toit – who captained the Boks against Wales in Washington – will come in for Jean-Luc du Preez, who didn’t quite pack the same punch at Ellis Park as he has with the Sharks in Super Rugby this season.

But it is still a major task for Du Toit to play on the side of the scrum against a strong English pack, who will have Hurricanes star Brad Shields directly opposing the Stormers man.

Du Toit has been in fine form in 2018, but there is no doubt that his best position is No 5 lock, where Franco Mostert has been given another opportunity.

There is a surprise change on the bench, with utility back Jesse Kriel replacing specialist flyhalf Elton Jantjies. Fullback Willie le Loux shapes up as the only real cover for No 10 Handré Pollard.

The Boks played some thrilling rugby last week, but will hope to make things smoother this time around and provide Mtawarira with a victory in his milestone game.

“Much like a typical front rower, ‘Beast’ is not someone who likes the spotlight,” Erasmus said in a statement on Thursday. “However, his contribution to Springbok rugby during the past decade has been enormous, and I want to congratulate him on reaching 100 Test caps for South Africa.

“His contribution to Springbok rugby during the past decade has been enormous, and I want to congratulate him on reaching 100 Test caps for South Africa,” says Rassie Erasmus on Tendai Mtawarira. Photo: Gavin Barker/BackpagePix

“It is a special achievement and while he deserves the accolades, I know he will be totally focused on the most important job, and that is to face an extremely determined England side on Saturday in Bloem.”

Springbok Team

15 Willie le Roux 14 Sbu Nkosi 13 Lukhanyo Am 12 Damian de Allende 11 Aphiwe Dyantyi 10 Handré Pollard 9 Faf de Klerk 8 Duane Vermeulen 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit 6 Siya Kolisi (captain) 5 Franco Mostert 4 RG Snyman 3 Frans Malherbe 2 Bongi Mbonambi 1 Tendai Mtawarira. 

Bench: 16 Akker van der Merwe 17 Steven Kitshoff 18 Thomas du Toit 19 Jean-Luc du Preez 20 Sikhumbuzo Notshe 21 Ivan van Zyl 22 Jesse Kriel 23 Warrick Gelant.

 

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