Kitshoff to make first Springboks start against All Blacks

Updated: 

Steven Kitshoff will make his first South Africa start against New Zealand on Saturday in the absence of Tendai Mtawarira and Lood de Jager also comes into the side

Kitshoff gets his chance from the start in the Springboks' final match of the tournament at Newlands after prop Mtawarira was released from the squad for family reasons.

Lock De Jager makes his first Test start of the year, with Pieter-Steph du Toit shifting to blindside flanker and Francois Louw taking the number eight shirt after Uzair Cassiem was ruled out due to a rib injury.

Uncapped prop Wilco Louw will be hoping to make his debut from the bench as the Springboks, vying with Australia for second place, target revenge for a record 57-0 drubbing at the hands of the All Blacks last month.

Springboks head coach Allister Coetzee said: "Losing your most experience player is not ideal, but family comes first in our caring environment.

"It's a well-deserved starting opportunity for Steven. He has been working extremely hard in the last two seasons and fully deserves his chance.

"Wilco has established himself during the Vodacom Super Rugby season, while he also continued that form in the Currie Cup. When he gets the opportunity to play, it will be something special on his home ground."

 

South Africa team: Andries Coetzee, Dillyn Leyds, Jesse Kriel, Jan Serfontein, Courtnall Skosan, Elton Jantjies, Ross Cronje; Steven Kitshoff, Malcolm Marx, Ruan Dreyer, Eben Etzebeth (captain), Lood de Jager, Siya Kolisi, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Francois Louw.

Replacements: Chiliboy Ralepelle, Trevor Nyakane, Wilco Louw, Franco Mostert, Jean-Luc du Preez, Rudy Paige, Handre Pollard, Vodacom Bulls, Damian de Allende.