Bismarck du Plessis returns to the South African starting line-up for their game against New Zealand at Ellis Park this weekend as one of two changes to the team. Elsewhere, Juandré Kruger comes in for the banned Flip van de Merwe at lock, with his namesake Franco set to win his first cap from the bench.
There is one possible change in the backs, where centre JJ Engelbrecht’s fitness will be monitored in the coming days, with Jan Serfontein set to start if needs be. If that is the case, Juan de Jongh will come onto the bench.
“We will give JJ all the time he needs to fully recover from his quad muscle injury, but if he can’t make it, Jan will start with Juan on the bench,” explained head coach Heyneke Meyer.
“Juandré will slot in without any difficulty as he’s been part of the squad since day one and I’m very pleased for Franco, who has been training with us for more than a year already.
“Franco’s attitude since day one has been fantastic, he’s waited patiently and always stayed positive, which is what we as a team stand for. On Saturday, he could make his debut against New Zealand in front of his home crowd at Ellis Park.”
South Africa team to play New Zealand, Johannesburg, Sat KO 17.00 (local time):
15 Zane Kirchner, 14 Willie le Roux, 13 JJ Engelbrecht/Jan Serfontein, 12 Jean de Villiers (c), 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Fourie du Preez, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Willem Alberts, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Juandré Kruger, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Beast Mtawarira.
Replacements: 16 Adriaan Strauss, 17 Gurthrö Steenkamp, 18 Coenie Oosthuizen, 19 Franco van der Merwe, 20 Siya Kolisi, 21 Ruan Pienaar, 22 Pat Lambie, 23 Jan Serfontein/Juan de Jongh.