Springbok half-backs pay the price for Irish shellacking

HEYNEKE MEYER NAMED his South Africa side to face England today and unsurprisingly he has made a raft of changes from the Springboks’ 29-15 defeat to Ireland last Saturday.

Half-backs Handré Pollard and Francois Hougaard, who both underperformed from the high standard they set in the Rugby Championship, have been replaced by Pat Lambie and Cobus Reinach respectively.

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Meyer had said last week that Pat Lambie would definitely get a start on the tour but the performance of Pollard at the Aviva may have forced his hand a little sooner than he had anticipated.

JP Pietersen, who scored a late consolation try off the bench against Ireland, will start on the right wing ahead of Cornal Hendricks while Adriaan Strauss, whose sin-binning was a pivotal moment in South Africa’s loss, will start at hooker ahead of Bismarck du Plessis.

The final change sees veteran flanker Schalk Burger start at openside in place of Teboho Mohoje.

South Africa will also play Italy and Wales on their autumn tour.

South Africa: 15 Willie le Roux, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Jan Serfontein, 12 Jean de Villiers (c), 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Pat Lambie, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Schalk Burger, 6 Marcell Coetzee, 5 Victor Matfield, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Adriaan Strauss, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.

Replacements: 16 Bismarck du Plessis, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Coenie Oosthuizen, 19 Bakkies Botha, 20 Teboho Mohoje, 21 Francois Hougaard, 22 Handré Pollard, 23 Cornal Hendricks.

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