Frans Steyn and Coenie Oosthuizen have been withdrawn from Saturday’s Test between the Springboks and Australia in The Castle Rugby Championship in Pretoria because of injury.
Steyn injured his right ankle during the warm-up on Monday and has not recovered sufficiently to play at Loftus Versfeld. His place in the starting team will be taken by Jaco Taute, who will make his Springbok debut at outside centre, with Jean de Villiers moving to inside centre. Juan de Jongh comes onto the bench.
Oosthuizen, who was named on the bench, has been replaced by Pat Cilliers.
“Frans went for a number of scans and x-rays this week and after specialist consultation it was decided that he should rather not play against Australia,” said Springbok team doctor Craig Roberts.
“Coenie, who played 35 minutes of rugby for the Toyota Free State Cheetahs last weekend, had stiffness in the neck and shoulder area after the game.
“After sitting out training on Monday, he felt much better and took part in the field sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday, but based on the nature of his injury and the initial symptoms early in the week, we felt that it would be better to withdraw him from the Test.
“Coenie is a young player who has a lot of rugby ahead of him and with injuries like these it’s always better to gradually build him back to full match fitness.”
Commenting on the injuries, Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer said: “Losing Frans and Coenie so close to the Test is a big setback, but we will always consider player welfare first. I’m very excited to see what Jaco will bring to this team and it’s great to have an experienced player like Juan as back-up. Pat has been part of this squad for almost two months now and he will slot in easily.”
The Springboks will be playing with black arm bands on Saturday and a minute’s silence will be observed in the stadium before kick-off to commemorate the life of Malome Maimane, the Springbok Technical Adviser from 2008 to 2011, who recently passed away.
The revised Springbok team to face Australia in Pretoria is:
15 Zane Kirchner (Vodacom Blue Bulls) 19 caps
14 Bryan Habana (DHL Western Province) 81 caps
13 Jaco Taute (MTN Golden Lions) uncapped
12 Jean de Villiers (captain, DHL Western Province) 79 caps
11 Francois Hougaard (Vodacom Blue Bulls) 22 caps
10 Johan Goosen (Toyota FS Cheetahs) 2 caps
9 Ruan Pienaar (Ulster, N-Ireland) 58 caps
8 Duane Vermeulen (DHL Western Province) 2 caps
7 Willem Alberts (The Sharks) 15 caps
6 Francois Louw (Bath, England) 12 caps
5 Andries Bekker (DHL Western Province) 27 caps
4 Eben Etzebeth (DHL Western Province) 6 caps
3 Jannie du Plessis (The Sharks) 37 caps
2 Adriaan Strauss (vice-captain, Toyota FS Cheetahs) 16 caps
1 Tendai Mtawarira (The Sharks) 39 caps
16 Tiaan Liebenberg (DHL Western Province) 3 caps
17 Pat Cilliers (MTN Golden Lions) 3 caps
18 Flip van der Merwe (Vodacom Blue Bulls) 18 caps
19 Marcell Coetzee (The Sharks) 7 caps
20 Elton Jantjies (MTN Golden Lions) 0 caps
21 Juan de Jongh (DHL Western Province) 10 caps
22 Pat Lambie (The Sharks) 15 caps