ESPN SCRUM

/ The Rugby Championship 2013

/ News

Australia v South Africa, Rugby Championship
Springboks bring back Bismarck du Plessis
ESPNscrum Staff
September 4, 2013
South Africa's Bismarck du Plessis charges towards the try line, South Africa v England, Ellis Park, Johannesburg, South Africa, June 16 ,2012
Bismarck du Plessis adds a physical presence alongside his brother in the front-row © Getty Images
Enlarge

South Africa coach Heyneke Meyer has recalled Bismarck du Plessis as one of five changes to the Springboks' starting side to play Australia in the Nelson Mandela Challenge Plate Test at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane on Saturday.

Du Plessis has finally regained full fitness after he sustained a knee injury against Argentina last year, and he will start alongside his brother Jannie in a front-row designed to hammer the Wallabies at scrum time.

Flip van der Merwe, like du Plessis, is promoted from the bench to replace Juandre Kruger in the second-row, while Zane Kirchner will play his first Test of the year at fullback after recovering from a hand injury. Meyer made two positional changes to clear the way for Kirchner's return, moving Willie le Roux from fullback to right wing and Bryan Habana, who scored a hat-trick against Australia in Pretoria last year, shifting to the left flank.

Adriaan Strauss and Kruger have dropped to the bench to make room for du Plessis and van der Merwe, while winger Bjorn Basson drops out of the matchday squad altogether after starting in the two wins over Argentina with which South Africa opened their campaign.

"A few of these changes are purely rotational in order to give guys with fresh legs a go, while others are simply a case of horses for courses," Meyer said. "We're fortunate to be in a position to rotate players of the calibre of Bismarck and Adriaan, while we felt this was the right opportunity to give Flip and Zane a go in the starting team. In the end, the most important factor still remains consistency in selection. In our squad, any player can slot in at any stage, and that is a good position to be in."

The Springboks have never won in seven Tests at Suncorp Stadiunm, including six since the inception of the Tri-Nations/Rugby Championship in 1996, but Meyer has previously shrugged off the dismal record saying "it just means more of a challenge and brings more motivation and makes you more excited".

"It's always very tough against the Wallabies," Meyer said. "They have got a lot of skilful players in the forwards and the backs. And their forwards can play like backs. They're the type of side if they get going and get quick ball, they are very dangerous to play."

Springboks: Zane Kirchner; Willie le Roux, JJ Engelbrecht, Jean de Villiers (captain), Bryan Habana; Morne Steyn, Ruan Pienaar; Duane Vermeulen, Willem Alberts, Francois Louw; Flip van der Merwe, Eben Etzebeth; Jannie du Plessis, Bismarck du Plessis, 1-Tendai Mtawarira. Replacements: Adriaan Strauss, Gurthro Steenkamp, Coenie Oosthuizen, Juandre Kruger, Siya Kolisi, Jano Vermaak, Pat Lambie, Jan Serfontein.


Follow live text commentary of the Mandela Challenge Plate Test between Australia and South Africa on Saturday, September 7, from 730pm (AEST), 1130am (SAST), 930am (GMT)

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd with AAP
Download ESPN's new UK multisport app, a fresh and powerful new way to follow your favourite UK sports news, scores and video.

Live Sports

Communication error please reload the page.

  • Latest
  • Most Viewed
  • News
  • Features
  • Rugby

    Sevens dates confirmed for Rio 2016

    Rugby Sevens will make its Olympic debut on August, 6, 2016, after the Rio 2016 Organising Committee released the daily competition schedule to mark 500 days to go.

  • Rugby

    Reds making play for Brad Thorn - report

    Brad Thorn might be returning to Super Rugby in 2016, with a report that Queensland Reds are looking to create a "player-coaching role" for him

  • Rugby

    SANZAR delays appeal into Steyn's not guilty verdict

    SANZAR has lodged an appeal against the outcome of its own judicial hearing of a dangerous tackle charge against Sharks centre Francois Steyn

  • Darts

    Near-perfect Van Gerwen storms on in Dublin

    Michael van Gerwen once again missed double 12 for a perfect nine-dart leg but powered on to maintain his spot at the top of the Premier League table

  • Tennis

    Del Potro struggles continue as Wozniacki breezes through

    Juan Martin del Potro's latest comeback from an injury is off to a slow start

  • Rugby

    Super Rugby preview, team news, line-ups: Round 7

    Greg Growden previews Super Rugby round 7. We've also got key stats, team news and all the line-ups to inform your ESPN Footytips Super Rugby picks

  • Rugby

    Unsavoury sledging did not end with Potgieter

    Fallout continues from the NSW-Brumbies derby, with one Tahs forward - not Potgieter - surprised by other unsavoury comments during the game, Greg Growden reports

  • Formula 1

    Storm clouds gather in Malaysia

    Will Mercedes dominate again? Can anybody catch up with the help of a rainstorm? And will the Red Bull/Renault relationship tear itself apart? All those questions and more will be answered at this weekend's Malaysian Grand Prix

  • Formula 1

    Alonso: More questions than answers

    Maurice Hamilton pieces together what we know from the Fernando Alonso crash and explains why the latest answers raise more questions

  • Rugby

    Attacking revolution won't be repeated at World Cup

    John Mitchell lapped up the action on 'Sensational Saturday' - but warns not to expect a repeat come Rugby World Cup time later this year

  • News
  • Features

Sponsored Links

Make Huge Income from your Home
Download your Free Guide And Learn How To Increase Your Monthly Income