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Coetzee makes two changes for Springboks battle with Italy

Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

South Africa head coach Allister Coetzee has restored record try-scorer Bryan Habana to the left wing in one of two changes to the Springboks starting team to face Italy.

The other change sees Nizaam Carr get his first start for the Boks, two years after making his Test debut against Italy.

In the only positional change, Pieter-Steph du Toit moves to lock in place of Eben Etzebeth, who was not considered due to the concussion he suffered against England.

Du Toit's move to lock opened up a position in the back row, where Carr will start following his stint off the bench last week at Twickenham. Prop Tendai Mtawarira will play in his 90th match in the Springbok jersey and will earn his 86thTest cap for South Africa.

"The players are working extremely hard during training, and there is no lack of effort on their part," said Coetzee ahead of the game. "We've had a good, hard look at the areas we must improve on and we realise Italy will be a tough side playing at home."

"It was the right decision not to risk Bryan at Twickenham. He has been training hard all week and without any discomfort, so he is good to go," added Coetzee.

"Pieter-Steph has an impressive workrate and I am expecting him to deliver the same at No 4 against a lively Italian pack of forwards.

"With him moving to lock, we felt Nizaam was the right person to start in the No 6 jersey as he did well when he came off the bench against England. Apart from his speed, he also makes the right decisions at the breakdown."

The Springbok team to face Italy

Willie le Roux, Ruan Combrinck, Francois Venter, Damian de Allende, Bryan Habana, Pat Lambie, Rudy Paige; Tendai Mtawarira, Adriaan Strauss, Vincent Koch, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Lood de Jager, Nizaam Carr, Willem Alberts, Warren Whiteley

Replacements: Bongi Mbonambi, Steven Kitshoff, Trevor Nyakane, Franco Mostert, Teboho Mohojé, Faf de Klerk, Elton Jantjies, Johan Goosen