Erasmus includes De Allende in the Boks' starting line-up for All Blacks showdown
Springboks coach Rassie Erasmus has included Damian de Allende in the starting line-up for the highly anticipated Rugby Championship clash against the New Zealand at Loftus on Saturday.
De Allende has made a full recovery from the shoulder injury that forced him to miss last weekend’s win over the Wallabies in Port Elizabeth and takes over the No 12 jersey from Andre Esterhuizen.
Erasmus has also included Francois Louw in the starting line-up to replace Sikhumbuzo Notshe‚ who has dropped to the bench‚ while Steven Kitshoff is a straight rotational swap with the experienced Tendai Mtawarira.
Vincent Koch is also set to play an impact role after he was named among the replacement forwards in place of Wilco Louw.
The rest of the team that defeated Australia last weekend in Port Elizabeth was kept unchanged and Warren Whiteley was not considered for the battle at Loftus as he has failed to recover from the injury that also kept him out of the clash against the Wallabies last weekend.
“Damian has trained very well and took full contact this week‚ so he is ready‚” said Erasmus after announcing his squad at the team hotel in Pretoria on Thursday.
“Notshe played well against the Wallabies last weekend and will offer us something different when he goes on‚ but Flo (Louw) has a lot of experience and is good on the ground.”
Erasmus added that he anticipating a tough battle against the All Blacks who will be looking for revenge after they lost to the Boks in Wellington.
“They will test us in every department‚" the Bok coach said.
"The All Blacks usually hit hard back after a loss so we have to be mentally and physically ready for a massive contest.
"We will have to front up in defence and be clinical when we create chances because the All Blacks punish you for errors and missed opportunities.
"The Springboks versus All Blacks at a packed Loftus‚ I think it’s going to be a special occasion.”
Springbok Squad: 15. Willie le Roux‚ 14. Cheslin Kolbe‚ 13. Jesse Kriel‚ 12. Damian de Allende‚ 11. Aphiwe Dyantyi‚ 10. Handré Pollard‚ 9. Faf de Klerk‚ 8. Francois Louw‚ 7. Pieter-Steph du Toit‚ 6. Siya Kolisi ©‚ 5. Franco Mostert‚ 4. Eben Etzebeth‚ 3. Frans Malherbe‚ 2. Malcolm Marx‚ 1. Steven Kitshoff
Replacements: 16. Bongi Mbonambi‚ 17. Tendai Mtawarira‚ 18. Vincent Koch‚ 19. RG Snyman‚ 20. Sikhumbuzo Notshe‚ 21. Embrose Papier‚ 22. Elton Jantjies‚ 23. Damian Willemse