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Same again for Springboks as they name side to face New Zealand

Ruan Pienaar must settle for a place on the bench yet again.

Fourie du Preez's great form means Pienaar must start from the bench again.
Fourie du Preez's great form means Pienaar must start from the bench again.
Image: Frank Augstein

SOUTH AFRICA HEAD coach Heyneke Meyer has shown faith in the XV that got the better of Wales last time out ahead of Saturday’s semi-final with New Zealand.

Once again, it means Ulster scrum-half Ruan Pienaar must settle for a place on the bench, with stand-in captain Fourie du Preez retained after his match-winning against the Welsh.

But it does show four changes from when the sides met in the 2015 Rugby Championship, when New Zealand edged the Springboks out in a 27-20 thriller.

In the front row, Frans Malherbe is once again preferred to Jannie du Plessis, with Lood de Jager and Eben Etzebeth behind in the second row, and the first choice trio of Duane Vermeulen, Schalk Burger and Francois Louw completing the pack.

The experienced du Preez has Handre Pollard outside him at out-half, with the same centre partnership of Jesse Kriel and Damian De Allende that caused the All Blacks a lot of trouble when they met in the summer.

Willie le Roux continues at fullback, with the experienced pair of JP Pieterson and Bryan Habana on the wings.

It’s the first time since the 2007 final that the Springboks have named an unchanged side in the World Cup.

The only change in the 23 comes on the bench, as Victor Matfield returns to the bench in place of Pieter-Steph du Toit after recovering from a hamstring niggle.

South Africa (v New Zealand)

15. Willie le Roux
14. JP Pietersen
13. Jesse Kriel
12. Damian De Allende
11. Bryan Habana
10. Handré Pollard
9. Fourie du Preez (captain)

1. Tendai Mtawarira
2. Bismarck du Plessis
3. Frans Malherbe
4. Eben Etzebeth
5. Lood de Jager
6. Francois Louw
7. Schalk Burger
8. Duane Vermeulen

Replacements:

16. Adriaan Strauss
17. Trevor Nyakane
18. Jannie du Plessis
19. Victor Matfield
20. Willem Alberts
21. Ruan Pienaar
22. Pat Lambie
23. Jan Serfontein

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About the author:

Neil Treacy

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