Springboks keep core players for France clash (team sheet)

The Springboks have selected a strong team as they look to end 2013 on a high by winning the Teamsheetsfirst battle with France in France in 16 years.

Core Boks over the past 12 months such as Tendai Mtawarira, Bismarck du Plessis, Eben Etzebeth and Morné Steyn return to their starting berths after being benched for the 0-28 win over Scotland last week.

Mtawarira, Etzebeth and Steyn form a core of 10 players who have played in all 10 matches this year along with Willie le Roux, Jean de Villiers, Bryan Habana, Ruan Pienaar, Coenie Oosthuizen, Adriaan Strauss and Pat Lambie who are also included in the squad.

The only change to the team is that Coenie Oosthuizen starts at tight head in place of the injured Frans Malherbe. Uncapped prop Lourens Adriaanse joins as cover on the bench.

“This is a great opportunity for Coenie and we believe he’s ready to make the step up to a starting role in the team, I’m also very happy for Lourens, who has been part of the squad for almost the entire season. He’s waited patiently for an opportunity and what better way to make your debut than against France in Paris. Gurthrö, Adriaan, Bakkies and Pat did very well last week against Scotland and will have an important role to play this week,” said Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer.

“We have been quite fortunate with injuries this year and I’m very happy that we’ve managed to keep the continuity in selection. Most of the players have received ample game time and showed they have what it takes to perform at Test level. Our aim is now to keep on improving against France and hopefully end a very successful season on a high note.” He added.

France vs Springboks, Stade de France Paris, Saturday, KO 21.00 (20.00 GMT; 22.00 SA time)

MM

South Africa: 15 Willie le Roux, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Jaque Fourie, 12 Jean de Villiers (captain), 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Willem Alberts , 6 Francois Louw, 5 Flip van der Merwe, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Replacements: 16 Adriaan Strauss, 17 Gurthrö Steenkamp, 18 Lourens Adriaanse, 19 Bakkies Botha, 20 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 21 Siya Kolisi, 22 Jano Vermaak, 23 Pat Lambie.

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