BLINDSIDE FLANKER HEINRICH Brüssow will make his first start for South Africa since the 2011 World Cup after being selected to face New Zealand in Saturday’s Rugby Championship clash in Johannesburg (KO 16.05 Irish time).
Brüssow played against the Lions in 2009. Source: Associated Press
Head coach Heyneke Meyer has made a total of nine changes to the matchday squad that dramatically lost to Australia in round one, with 25-year-old Stormers loosehead prop Vincent Koch in line to make his international debut off the bench.
The Springboks’ backline was initially not set to be altered, with the prodigious Handré Pollard continuing at out-half and the inexperienced Damian de Allende and Jesse Kriel forming the centre partnership once again.
However, a late injury to right wing JP Pietersen means Cornal Hendricks is promoted to the starting team, with Lionel Mapoe included on the bench.
The three changes to Meyer’s XV come in the pack, with Brüssow replacing the injured Marcell Coetzee, meaning Francois Louw moves into the number seven shirt.
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22-year-old beast Lood de Jager replaces Victor Matfield in the second row, having done the same against the Wallabies when the veteran lineout specialist was forced off through injury.
Meanwhile, Koch, Trevor Nyakane, Flip van der Merwe, the brilliant Warren Whiteley and the uncapped Mapoe all come onto the bench.
Schalk Burger captains the side from number eight. Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO
It is the return of Brüssow that attracts the eye most of all, with memories of his abrasive and disruptive breakdown influence over the course of 20 Test caps earlier in his career remaining strong.
The 29-year-old impressed during his six appearances for the Cheetahs in Super Rugby this year, having spent time with the NTT Red Hurricanes in Japan in recent seasons.
Schalk Burger captains the Springboks team.
South Africa (v New Zealand):
15. Willie le Roux
14. Cornal Hendricks
13. Jesse Kriel
12. Damian de Allende
11. Bryan Habana
10. Handré Pollard
9. Ruan Pienaar
1. Tendai Mtawarira
2. Bismarck du Plessis
3. Jannie du Plessis
4. Eben Etzebeth
5. Lood de Jager
6. Heinrich Brüssow
7. Francois Louw
8. Schalk Burger (captain)
16. Adriaan Strauss
17. Trevor Nyakane
18. Vincent Koch
19. Flip van der Merwe
20. Warren Whiteley
21. Cobus Reinach
22. Pat Lambie
23. Lionel Mapoe
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