The Springboks have made 13 changes to their starting XV for Tuesday’s match against Canada in Kobe to manage the four-day turnaround between their final two Rugby World Cup pool matches.
Captain Siya Kolisi and centre Damian de Allende reappear for a second successive start while five of the replacements from the victory over Italy (49-3) on Friday are promoted to the starting line-up. They are Frans Steyn (centre), Francois Louw (looseforward), Franco Mostert and RG Snyman (both locks) and Vincent Koch (prop).
Nine of the team that defeated Namibia 57-3 in City of Toyota in the preceding match regain a starting place while Damian Willemse – who arrived as an injury replacement from the UK on Thursday – goes straight into the starting line-up at fullback.
There are also first starts at the Rugby World Cup for Thomas du Toit (prop) and Cobus Reinach (scrumhalf).
A win with a bonus point would almost certainly secure a place in the quarterfinals for the Springboks.
“A four-day turnaround between Tests is a challenge but we had planned for it and will be well prepared,” said Rassie Erasmus, South Africa’s director of rugby.
“This match is just as important as the three that we have already played – it has the same number of log points available and the same impact on our chances of qualifying and we have to now complete the job.
“There are a number of new combinations in our team, but we have been together for several weeks now and everyone understands our gameplan and strategies. The nice thing is that at the end of the match every member of the squad will have started a Rugby World Cup match.
“But the first thing we have to focus on is winning the match and securing a place in the quarter-finals.”
There are a number of positional changes in the backline, with Sbu Nkosi switching to the left wing, Warrick Gelant starting on the right flank and De Allende being given a start at outside centre.
The versatile Du Toit starts at loosehead prop, while Louw is at No 8 with Schalk Brits returning to his more usual No 2 jersey after appearing at the back of the scrum against Namibia.
A powerful looking bench includes five of the starting XV from the victory over Italy in Eben Etzebeth, Frans Malherbe, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Handre Pollard and Willie le Roux.
Rested completely from the squad that played Italy are Tendai Mtawarira (prop), Bongi Mbonambi (hooker), Lukhanyo Am (centre) and Cheslin Kolbe and Makazole Mapimpi (wings) – who had featured in all four matches in Japan – as well as Lood de Jager, Duane Vermeulen and Faf de Klerk.
“Our preparations for the match have been shortened by the turnaround time but we are giving Canada the same attention we applied in the three previous matches,” said Erasmus.
The match kicks off at 12h15 (SA time).
The Springbok team: 15. Damian Willemse, 14. Warrick Gelant, 13. Damian de Allende, 12. Frans Steyn, 11. Sbu Nkosi, 10. Elton Jantjies, 9. Cobus Reinach, 8. Francois Louw, 7. Kwagga Smith, 6. Siya Kolisi (captain), 5. Franco Mostert, 4. RG Snyman, 3. Vincent Koch, 2. Schalk Brits, 1. Thomas du Toit. Replacements: 16. Malcolm Marx, 17. Steven Kitshoff, 18. Frans Malherbe, 19. Eben Etzebeth, 20. Pieter-Steph du Toit, 21. Herschel Jantjies, 22. Handre Pollard, 23. Willie le Roux.