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Friday 3 February 2023 Dublin: 10°C
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This beefy South Africa XV is the next challenge for battered and bruised Wales
JP Pietersen returns to the starting line-up as the ‘Boks continue their 10-day turnaround before the quarter-final.

SOUTH AFRICA COACH Heyneke Meyer will have 337 caps worth of experience to call upon should his starting line-up not get things going according to plan in this weekend’s first Rugby World Cup quarter-final (KO Saturday 16.00).

The Springboks take on a battered and bruised Welsh team not-so-fresh from the Titanic encounters with England and Australia that brought them through the Pool of Death and in to the knock-out stage at the hosts’ expense.

Back in Twickenham for a third time this tournament, Warren Gatland’s men will come up against a refocused South Africa unit complete with JP Pietersen returning from a knock to the knee and record World Cup try-scorer Bryan Habana on either wing.

The Springboks continue to boast a blend of youth and experience with Fourie du Preez captaining the side from scrum-half behind the grizzled old warhorse Schalk Burger.

In contrast to the experience on the bench, Meyer’s 10-12-13 axis boasts just 42 caps between them, but in Handré Pollard, Damian De Allende and Jesse Kriel there is no shortage of skill or size.

In the tight five Frans Malherbe has been preferred to Jannie du Plessis at tighthead and Lood de Jager once again captains Eben Etzebeth in the second row.

South Africa (v Wales)

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. Pieter-Steph du Toit
20. Willem Alberts
21. Ruan Pienaar
22. Pat Lambie
23. Jan Serfontein

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