Heyneke Meyer brings in eight players and makes two positional changes for South Africa's game against Samoa
South Africa coach Heyneke Meyer has reacted to the shock defeat by Japan by making ten changes to the Springboks‘ starting lineup for their match against Samoa on Saturday.
Eight players come in while captain Jean de Villiers moves to outside-centre to make way for the incoming Damian de Allende at No 12 and Schalk Burger moves from No 8 to flanker.
Willie le Roux and JP Pietersen return to the back-line with a new half-back pairing taking the field with Fourie du Preez and Handré Pollard preferred to Pat Lambie and Ruan Pienaar.
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Up front, Adriaan Strauss comes in at hooker to make his 50th cap, while Duane Vermeulen and Eben Etzebeth come into the pack at No 8 and lock respectively as Meyer expects a physical encounter.
“It’s been a very tough week after the massive disappointment of last weekend and we owe our supporters a winning performance on Saturday,” said Meyer.
“The last few days have been a time for retrospection and the team this week has been selected specifically with Samoa in mind, as we know we’ll have to be at our very best to succeed.
“They will pose a massive challenge and I think it’s fair to say that it’s the biggest game of the season for us. They have a very strong team with players plying their trade all over the world.
“Four years ago in the World Cup pool match in New Zealand, the Samoans pushed the Boks close and we’re expecting more of the same this weekend. It will be brutally physical and we have to be 100% focused and ready.”
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South Africa: le Roux, Pietersen, de Villiers, de Allende, Habana, Pollard, du Preez, Mtawarira, Strauss, du Plessis, Etzebeth, Matfield, Louw, Burger, Vermeulen.
Replacements: Brits, Nyakane, Malherbe, de Jager, Kolisi, Pienaar, Lambie, Kriel.