Canan Moodie and Andre Esterhuizen are the centres to face the All Blacks
Springboks v New Zealand is always a tasty encounter but South Africa head coach Jacques Nienaber is shaking things up for the team’s World Cup warm-up by naming a new centre pairing.
Canan Moodie starts at outside centre for the first time in his Test career, he played on the wing last Saturday against Wales. Moodie will partner Andre Esterhuizen in the midfield, the Harlequins star did not play in Cardiff.
In the Springboks record victory over Wales it was Jesse Kriel and Damian de Allende in the centre partnership.
Esterhuizen is one of eight changes to last weekend’s starting 15. Nienaber said of the changes: “Our objective since the beginning of the season was to strike a balance between performance and managing player load with only six Test matches to get ready for the World Cup, and we are pleased with the way we have developed in that regard.
“In the last five matches we’ve given everyone, with the exception of the injured players, valuable game time, which is vital going into the World Cup, and we are satisfied with the way we have been building as a team.”
The last time South Africa faced New Zealand was in the Rugby Championship in July. The All Blacks came out 35-20 winners and Nienaber added the team need to be ready “physically and mentally” to overcome their rivals.
South Africa: Damian Willemse; Kurt-Lee Arendse, Canan Moodie, Andre Esterhuizen, Makazole Mapimpi; Manie Libbok, Faf de Klerk; Steven Kitshoff, Malcolm Marx, Frans Malherbe, Eben Etzebeth, Franco Mostert, Siya Kolisi (capt), Pieter-Steph du Toit, Duane Vermeulen.
Replacements: Bongi Mbonambi, Ox Nche, Trevor Nyakane, Jean Kleyn, RG Snyman, Marco van Staden, Cobus Reinach, Willie le Roux.
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