Boks unleash young gun for debut as Nienaber makes eight starting changes for second Test

Springboks utility back Canan Moodie has been named for his Test debut against Australia as coach Jacques Nienaber announced eight starting team changes fort Saturday’s match in Sydney.

Handre Pollard, Lukhanyo Am and Pieter-Steph du Toit were ruled out due to knee injuries, while Elton Jantjies injured his hand and was not available for selection.

Damian Willemse moves from fullback to flyhalf, Jesse Kriel goes to centre, and Franco Mostert has been included in the back row.

Moodie, 19, earns his first start on the right wing in a positional switch with Warrick Gelant, who has been named among the replacements, while the experienced Willie le Roux will take Willemse’s place at fullback,.

Faf De Klerk, who was yellow carded in a clash with Nic White, will come off the bench with Jaden Hendrikse to start.

Apart from Mostert’s inclusion among the forwards, prop Steven Kitshoff and hooker Malcolm Marx earn starts in a new-look front row with Frans Malherbe, while Jasper Wiese takes over at No 8 from Duane Vermeulen, who will provide an impact off the replacements bench.

These changes see a reshuffle of the front row on the bench, with Deon Fourie serving as the replacement hooker, and Ox Nche and Trevor Nyakane providing cover at prop.

Among the backs, Cobus Reinach will serve as back-up for Hendrikse at scrumhalf, with Frans Steyn providing cover flyhalf and centre, while Gelant will offer options on the wing and fullback.

“We selected a team we thought would be best for this match given that we have several players out with injuries and with an eye on how we want to play,” said Nienaber in a statement.

“Handre, Lukhanyo, Elton and Pieter-Steph are all carrying injuries which adds to a list that includes Cheslin Kolbe and Sbu Nkosi, while Kurt-Lee Arendse is also out serving a suspension, and this has forced our hand to make a few changes in some positions.

“With both flyhalves injured, Damian was the natural choice at No 10 where he has slotted in for us a lot. He is also becoming a settled player in our team with over 20 Test caps to his name.

“This will also be a great test for Canan, who was a stand-out player for the Vodacom Bulls this season in the Vodacom United Rugby Championship. He’s a very talented player, who will enjoy this opportunity.”

Nic White.

Nic White (Photo by Getty Images)

Nienaber added: “Cobus at his best is world class and having seen what he offers us at training we think he’s close to that form. With him, Warrick and Frans Steyn on the bench we have sufficient cover among the backs.”

Commenting on the forward changes, Nienaber said: “With Bongi (Mbonambi) and Trevor injured in the last few weeks we were in a position where we could test other combinations and we got some good answers in that regard.

“This weekend we opted to make a few switches with Ox and Trevor playing off the bench along with Deon Fourie. With Bongi and Malcolm both settled with over 50 Test caps each, it was always our plan to give Joseph (Dweba) and Deon a chance at hooker, and this week Deon gets a run.”

Springbok team

15 – Willie le Roux (Toyota Verblitz) – 76 caps, 65 pts (13t)

14 – Canan Moodie (Vodacom Bulls) – uncapped

13 – Jesse Kriel (Canon Eagles) – 53 caps, 60 pts (12t)

12 – Damian de Allende (Wild Knights) – 63 caps, 35 pts (7t)

11 – Makazole Mapimpi (Cell C Sharks) – 30 caps, 105 pts (21t)

10 – Damian Willemse (DHL Stormers) – 21 caps, 12 pts (1t, 2c, 1p)

9 – Jaden Hendrikse (Cell C Sharks) – 7 caps, 5 pts (1t)

8 – Jasper Wiese (Leicester Tigers) – 15 caps, 0 pts

7 – Franco Mostert (Honda Heat) – 56 caps, 5pts (1t)

6 – Siya Kolisi (captain, Cell C Sharks) – 68 caps, 35 pts (7t)

5 – Lood de Jager (Wild Knights) – 61 caps, 25 pts (5t)

4 – Eben Etzebeth (Cell C Sharks) – 103 caps, 15 pts (3t)

3 – Frans Malherbe (DHL Stormers) – 51 caps, 5 pts (1t)

2 – Malcolm Marx (Kubota Spears) – 52 caps, 55 pts (11t)

1 – Steven Kitshoff (DHL Stormers) – 64 caps, 5 pts (1t)

Replacements:

16 – Deon Fourie (DHL Stormers) – 1 cap, 0pts

17 – Ox Nche (Cell C Sharks) – 12 caps, 0pts

18 – Trevor Nyakane (Racing 92) – 57 caps, 5pts (1t)

19 – Kwagga Smith (Shizuoka Blue Revs) – 24 caps, 15 pts (3t)

20 – Duane Vermeulen (Ulster) – 63 caps, 15 pts (3t)

21 – Cobus Reinach (Montpellier) – 21 caps, 40pts (8t)

22 – Frans Steyn (Toyota Cheetahs) – 75 caps, 150 pts (11t, 7c, 24p, 3d)

23 – Warrick Gelant (Racing 92) – 11 caps, 15 pts (3t)

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