x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Springboks name unchanged side to face Australia

South Africa name an unchanged starting line-up for Saturday's Tri-Nations Test against Australia in Cape Town.

CAPE TOWN // South Africa named an unchanged starting line-up for Saturday's Tri-Nations Test against Australia in Cape Town with fly-half Ruan Pienaar the only change on the bench. Pienaar missed the 31-19 win over New Zealand in Durban on Saturday with an ankle strain and his replacement, Morne Steyn, scored all of South Africa's points to set a record as the leading scorer in a Tri-Nations match.

Pienaar, 25, who has also played scrum-half, fullback and wing for the Springboks, replaces the centre Wynand Olivier on the bench. "If the players conduct themselves in the manner they have recently, then it is always easy choosing the team," coach Peter De Villiers said. "Ruan has always been part of our plans and I still believe he is a top-class player. But I will do an injustice if I bring him straight back in. We now have a situation in the team where if you are injured and lose your spot, it is hard to work your way back."

The Springboks lost 27-15 to the Wallabies in August last year before exacting their revenge a week later by routing their opponents 53-8 at Ellis Park in Johannesburg. De Villiers refuted suggestions the Wallabies would start as underdogs on Saturday. "I believe Australia have the quality to beat us, they beat us last year in Durban and I can never forget that because I was booed," he said. "It wouldn't have taken that long for the scars of Ellis Park to heal and this game we will start at zero, nothing that's happened in the past can help us.

"Australia will bring a lot of different challenges to New Zealand. They like to keep the ball for much longer, they are very patient with their phases and they wait to see if there are any holes they can probe." Team: 15-Francois Steyn, 14-JP Pietersen, 13-Jaque Fourie, 12-Jean de Villiers, 11-Bryan Habana, 10-Morne Steyn, 9-Fourie du Preez, 8-Pierre Spies, 7-Juan Smith, 6-Heinrich Brussow, 5-Victor Matfield, 4-Bakkies Botha, 3-John Smit, 2-Bismarck du Plessis, 1-Tendai Mtawarira.

Replacements: 16-Chiliboy Ralepelle, 17-Jannie du Plessis, 18-Andries Bekker, 19-Danie Rossouw, 20-Enrico Januarie, 21-Ruan Pienaar, 22-Adrian Jacobs. * Reuters