Kwagga Smith, Lood de Jager start for South Africa vs New Zealand in Rugby Championship Test live on Sky Sports
Springboks' Jacques Nienaber makes two changes to his XV to face New Zealand on Saturday, live on Sky Sports Arena from 7.55am; second row Lood de Jager returns; flanker Kwagga Smith starts in place of Franco Mostert; Elton Jantjies, Frans Steyn named on 5-3 bench; Cheslin Kolbe still out
Last Updated: 21/09/21 11:43am
Lood de Jager has returned to South Africa's side for their Rugby Championship clash with New Zealand on Saturday, while flanker Kwagga Smith has also come in to start.
De Jager missed the 30-17 defeat by Australia last weekend as he completed concussion protocols and his return will boost their lineout proficiency and ability from the rolling maul.
Smith moves from the bench to the flank to replace Franco Mostert, who is named as a replacement and though usually a lock but has been filling in on the side of the scrum with a long-term injury to Pieter-Steph du Toit.
There is no return for explosive winger Cheslin Kolbe, who missed the back-to-back defeats by Australia with a leg injury and is still not ready to play.
Head coach Jacques Nienaber has also ditched their Bomb Squad 6-2 split on the bench that includes six forwards to add muscle in the second half, and instead recalled experienced fly-half Elton Jantjies and centre Frans Steyn among the replacements.
"Experience will be vital to ensure that we remain focused and calm throughout the match, and players such as Elton and Frans will bring that when they take the field," Nienaber said in naming his side on Tuesday.
"They have both played and won against the All Blacks, but they will also bring a set of different skills.
"Both Elton and Frans have been training very well, they have also been in our structures for years and have performed well for the team in high-pressure matches, so we are keen to see what dynamic they will bring to the game.
"Lood also boasts 51 Test caps, which will be valuable in this match, while Kwagga has faced them before as well, which gives us a chance to give Franco a well-deserved opportunity to be managed carefully this week after a physically taxing load since the season started."
The Boks lost their number one position in the world rankings to New Zealand following last weekend's defeat by the Wallabies, which Nienaber said was the team's worst performance in three years.
"We are fully aware of the challenge that awaits us, and we know what we have to do to stay on the right side of the scoreboard this weekend," Nienaber added.
"Strong defence, accurate execution and capitalising on our point-scoring chances will be key,"
The match, live on Sky Sports Arena, is the 100th meeting between the teams since their first in 1921.
South Africa: 15 Willie le Roux, 14 Sbu Nkosi, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Faf de Klerk; 1 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 3 Frans Malherbe, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 5 Lood de Jager, 6 Siya Kolisi (c), 7 Kwagga Smith, 8 Duane Vermeulen.
Replacements: 16 Malcolm Marx, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 Franco Mostert, 20 Marco van Staden, 21 Herschel Jantjies, 22 Elton Jantjies, 23 Frans Steyn.