Jacques Ninaber recalls the first-choice stars ahead of South Africa’s crucial series with Wales… rested Sia Kolisi, Cheslin Kolbe and Damian de Allende saw the Dragons claim their first win on Springbok soil
- South Africa are looking to win Saturday’s decider against Wales
- Springbok head coach Jacques Ninaber has recalled his first stars
- He decided to make a total of 11 changes to the starting line-up for the final
- Wales shocked SA 13-12 last weekend to claim their first win on Springbok soil
South Africa admitted they must win Saturday’s series-deciding match against Wales and will need to produce a “top-class performance” in Cape Town to do so.
Springbok head coach Jacques Ninaber recalled his main stars and made 11 changes to the starting line-up for the final.
Wales shocked South Africa 13-12 at the weekend to claim their first win on Springbok soil, defeating a side without the rested Siya Kolisi, Cheslin Kolbe, Damian de Allende and others.
South Africa are looking to win Saturday’s decider against Wales, with head coach Jacques Nienaber (above) recalling his top stars
All three players – plus Damian Willemse, Luhanyo Am, Makazole Mapimpi, Jasper Wiese, Loud de Jaeger, Frans Malherb, Bongi Mbonambi and Trevor Nyakane – are back in the starting line-up this weekend.
Lock Etzebet will be the only South African to start in all three Wales Tests and will win his 100th cap in the final.
South Africa won the first Test in a tight formation against a tough Welsh side. Etzebeth, who made his debut for the Springboks against England in 2012, will become the seventh South African to reach the milestone in a century of Test appearances.
Wales shocked South Africa 13-12 last weekend to claim their first win on Springbok soil
Sia Kolisi (above), Cheslin Kolbe and Damian de Allende were not in the squad but will return to the starting line-up for this weekend’s final
He follows in the footsteps of Victor Matfield, Brian Habana, Tendai Mtawariri, John Smith, Jean de Villiers and Percy Montgomery. Hooker Mbonambi wins his 50th cap.
“We’re very proud of Eben and Bongi for their achievements, although it would be remiss of us as a team to gloss over the fact that we need to win on Saturday to seal the series against Wales,” Ninaber said.
“Wales have shown themselves over the years and in the last two matches they are real fighters and we will need a top-quality performance on Saturday to register a win and ultimately clinch the series.
SOUTH AFRICA TEAM IN THE FINAL AGAINST WALES
Damian Willemse; Cheslin Kolbe, Luhanyo Am, Damian de Allende, Makazole Mapimpi; Handre Pollard, Jayden Hendrickse; Trevor Nyakane, Bongi Mbonambi, Frans Mahlerb, Eben Etzebet, Lud de Jaeger, Sia Kolisi (capt), Peter-Steph du Toit, Jasper Wiese
Subs: Malcolm Marks, Steven Kitschoff, Vincent Koch, Franco Mostert, Quagga Smith, Elri Louw, Faf de Klerk, Willy le Roux
“That said, Eben and Bongi were real fans of Springbok rugby and we hope we can make it a special occasion for them. Nobody wants to remember losing the 100th or 50th Test, so we have to do everything we can to win the match.”
On his team selection, Ninaber said: “We have chosen the team and combinations of players that we believe will be the best for this particular game.
“We’ve had a frank discussion with the players, telling them what we’re asking of them this weekend and what we’d like to see in terms of their performance.
“Hopefully they can produce the goods and we can get the result we want. We have high standards as a team and we’d like to maintain that and build momentum with a tough season ahead.”
Ninaber is expecting another valiant effort from Wales and said: “We showed from the start of the series that Wales would be desperate and they have shown that in the last two weeks.
“We expect another tough game against them and the fact that they will be playing for their first win in the series in South Africa will make them even more desperate to see us through this weekend. We know it will be an epic battle.
“However, we are also playing in what is essentially a final for us and we know we need to build on the day and put in a quality performance for 80 minutes to come out victorious.”
Wales will name their squad on Thursday. Head coach Wayne Pivac will need to make at least one substitution after winger Alex Cuthbert was ruled out of the final Test with a shoulder injury.