South Africa head coach Jacques Nienaber makes 11 changes for deciding Test against Wales | Rugby Union News

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The head coach reverts largely to the XV that started the first Test; Siya Kolisi returns as captain, Eben Etzebeth will earn his 100th cap and Bongi Mbonambi his 50th; watch the series decider live on Sky Sports on Saturday; coverage starts at 3:30pm (4:05pm kick-off)

Last Updated: 12/07/22 11:08am

Siya Kolisi returns to lead the side in this deciding Test match against Wales

Siya Kolisi returns to lead the side in this deciding Test match against Wales

South Africa’s head coach Jacques Nienaber has made 11 changes for the deciding Test against Wales on Saturday.

The head coach reverts largely back to the starting XV that opened the Tour against Wales in the first Test, having made 14 changes ahead of the second Test in Bloemfontein.

Siya Kolisi returns to lead the Boks from the back row, with fellow forwards Eben Etzebeth and Bongi Mbonambi set to achieve milestones. Lock Etzebeth will earn his 100th Test cap and front-row forward Mbonambi his 50th.

Handre Pollard retains the 10 jersey after playing in the second Test and Jaden Hendrikse will again start outside of him at scrum-half.

Pieter-Steph du Toit is another returnee from the contest in Bloemfontein. Du Toit will start at openside flanker and has captain Kolisi and Jasper Wiese alongside him in the back row.

Nienaber has opted for a six-two split on the bench. Malcolm Marx and Vincent Koch are the only two replacements named who played in the second Test.

Faf de Klerk and Willie le Roux are poised to provide sparks in the latter stages of the decider. Flanker Kwagga Smith is another who loves to create magic during broken play given his sevens background.

Eben Etzebeth will become the seventh Springbok to reach the milestone of 100 Test caps

Eben Etzebeth will become the seventh Springbok to reach the milestone of 100 Test caps

“We are very proud of Eben and Bongi for their achievements, although it would be remiss of us as a team for that to out-shadow the fact that we need to win on Saturday to seal the series,” said Nienaber.

“Wales have shown over the years and in the last two matches that they are real fighters, and it will require a top-class performance from us on Saturday to register a victory and ultimately clinch the series.

“That said, Eben and Bongi have been true stalwarts to Springbok rugby and we hope that we can make this a special occasion for them. No-one wants to remember losing their 100th or 50th Test, so we need to do everything we can to win the match.”

It’s All On The Line: All four series deciders. It’s Only Live Once.

Everything you need to know and how to watch the Summer Tour series deciders for Ireland, England, Wales and Scotland, exclusively live on Sky Sports this Saturday.

The contest between the Springboks and Wales is one of four deciding Tests live on Sky Sports on Saturday. Ireland, England and Scotland are also facing series-defining matches against New Zealand, Australia and Argentina respectively.

Take a look back at the highlights of the second Test between South Africa and Wales in Bloemfontein

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Take a look back at the highlights of the second Test between South Africa and Wales in Bloemfontein

Take a look back at the highlights of the second Test between South Africa and Wales in Bloemfontein

Nienaber spoke further about what he believes he’ll see from Wayne Pivac’s outfit in Cape Town.

“We pointed out from the outset of the series that Wales will be desperate and they showed that in the last two weeks,” he said.

“We are expecting another hard grind against them and the fact that they will be playing for their first series victory ever in South Africa will make them even more desperate to push us to the limit this weekend, so we know it will be an epic battle.

“That said, we are also playing in what is essentially a final for us and we know that we need to pitch up on the day and deliver a quality 80-minute performance to emerge victorious.”

South Africa: 15. Damian Willemse, 14. Cheslin Kolbe, 13. Lukhanyo Am, 12. Damian de Allende, 11. Makazole Mapimpi, 10. Handre Pollard, 9. Jaden Hendrikse, 1. Trevor Nyakane, 2. Bongi Mbonambi, 3. Frans Malherbe, 4. Eben Etzebeth, 5. Lood de Jager, 6. Siya Kolisi (captain), 7. Pieter-Steph du Toit, 8. Jasper Wiese.

Replacements: 16. Malcolm Marx, 17. Steven Kitshoff, 18. Vincent Koch, 19. Franco Mostert, 20. Kwagga Smith, 21. Elrigh Louw., 22. Faf de Klerk, 23. Willie le Roux.

It’s All On The Line: All four series deciders. It’s Only Live Once; Ireland meet New Zealand, England take on Australia, Wales face South Africa and Scotland play Argentina; all deciding Tests are exclusively live on Sky Sports on Saturday with coverage starting at 7.30am.



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