The Springbok team to face Scotland on Saturday has two changes from the one that beat Ireland last weekend, with Gurthrö Steenkamp and Juan de Jongh being included in the starting line-up at Murrayfield.
Steenkamp replaces CJ van der Linde at loosehead prop after the latter took over as late replacement from Tendai Mtawarira last weekend. De Jongh replaces Jaco Taute at outside centre. Both Van der Linde and Taute have been included on the bench.
In total, the Springbok team has 416 Test caps in the starting 15 – 150 of them amongst the forwards and 266 in the backline.
“It’s great to have Gurthrö back – we wanted to select him last week, but unfortunately he was not 100% fit,” said Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer.
“Gurthrö is experienced, knows the conditions well and is looking forward to returning to the Green and Gold as he’s not played for South Africa for more than a year.
“Juan is in a similar position. Even though he’s played in a number of Tests for us this year, he’s not started for the Boks since last year’s away leg of the Castle Tri-Nations against New Zealand in Wellington.
“My plan has always been to give him a start on this tour, as he’s been playing very well lately, and I’m excited to see what he brings to the team on Saturday.”
Heinke van der Merwe, a late replacement on the bench for Van der Linde last weekend, has kept his place among the reserves.
Saturday’s Test will be the 22nd between South Africa and Scotland since they first met in 1906. Of these, the Boks have won 16 and lost five, which includes the last time they played, in 2010. On that occasion, the Scots won, 21-17.
“Our focus has been on improving from our performance against Ireland last week,” said Meyer. “We saw the match between Scotland and New Zealand and that the Scots scored three tries against the All Blacks – which is more than any other team has managed against them this year.
“It was their first Test back since their season started and they will not be an easy opponent on Saturday, but we’ve also brushed off some cobwebs in Dublin and have had a good week on the training field.
“We lost on our last visit to Edinburgh and realise Saturday will be a massive battle, but it’s one we are looking forward to.”
The Springbok team to face Scotland in Edinburgh is:
15. Zane Kirchner (Vodacom Blue Bulls) 22caps
14. JP Pietersen (The Sharks) 46 caps
13. Juan de Jongh (DHL Western Province) 12 caps
12.Jean de Villiers (captain) DHL Western Province 82 caps
11. Francois Hougaard (Vodacom Blue Bulls) 25 caps
10. Pat Lambie (The Sharks) 18 caps
9. Ruan Pienaar (Ulster, N-Ireland) 61 caps
8. Duane Vermeulen (DHL Western Province) 5 caps
7. Willem Alberts (The Sharks) 18 caps
6. Francois Louw (Bath, England) 15 caps
5. Juandré Kruger (Vodacom Blue Bulls) 6 caps
4. Eben Etzebeth (DHL Western Province) 9 caps
3. Jannie du Plessis (The Sharks) 40 caps
2. Adriaan Strauss (vice-captain, Toyota FS Cheetahs) 19 caps
1. Gurthrö Steenkamp (Toulouse, France) 38 caps
16. Schalk Brits (Saracens, England) 3 caps
17. Heinke van der Merwe (Leinster, Ireland) 2 caps
18. CJ van der Linde (MTN Golden Lions) 74 caps
19. Flip van der Merwe (Vodacom Blue Bulls) 21 caps
20. Marcell Coetzee (The Sharks) 10 caps
21. Morné Steyn (Vodacom Blue Bulls) 41 caps
22. Jaco Taute (MTN Golden Lions) 3 caps
23. Lwazi Mvovo (The Sharks) 7 caps
Stats and facts:
•Jean de Villiers will extend his record as the most-capped Springbok centre, with his 68th Test in that position for South Africa.
•Gurthrö Steenkamp, who is back in the team, holds the record for the most Test tries by a Springbok prop, with six.
•Replacement flyhalf Morné Steyn is not only the most capped Springbok No 10 ever, with 40 Tests at pivot, but also holds the record for the most career tries in Tests as a flyhalf, with seven.
•Morné needs 14 points to reach 500 career points in Tests for the Springboks.
•CJ van der Linde, who started last week as a late replacement for Tendai Mtawarira, will earn his 75th Springbok cap if he gets game time, which would make him the 10th Springbok to play in 75 Tests. CJ is also the most capped Springbok against Scotland in the squad, with five Tests against them.
•Should CJ be used as a substitute, he will join Ruan Pienaar on 35 Tests as a substitute, the second most by a Springbok.
•In the starting line-up, only Ruan Pienaar (three penalty goals) and Willem Alberts (one try) have scored points against Scotland in previous Tests. Morné Steyn kicked four penalty goals in the last Test against Scotland in 2010.
•Only Jean de Villiers, Francois Hougaard and Jannie du Plessis will have started in all Springbok Test matches in 2012.
•George Clancy of Ireland is the referee. In the six Tests he’s refereed in involving South Africa, the Springboks have won four and lost two.
•Springbok Test match records at Murrayfield against Scotland:
oMost points – 26 by Percy Montgomery (2t, 8c) in 1997.
oMost tries – two each by six players – Chris Koch, Joost van der Westhuizen, Percy Montgomery, James Small, André Vos and Bryan Habana.
oMost conversions – eight by Percy Montgomery in 1997.
oMost penalty goals – four by Morné Steyn in 2010.
oMost drop goals – three by Jaco van der Westhuyzen in 2004.