Wales v South Africa: Springboks make five changes for Welsh clash

Willie le Roux
Willie le Roux scored a try in both June Tests for South Africa against Wales
Autumn internationals: Wales v South Africa
Venue: Millennium Stadium Date: Sat 29 November Kick-off: 14:30 GMT
Coverage: Watch live on BBC One, BBC One HD, online, mobiles and BBC Sport app from 14:00 GMT; commentary on BBC Radio 5 live, BBC Radio Wales & Radio Cymru; text commentary on BBC Sport website & mobiles

Full-back Willie le Roux and wings Cornal Hendricks and Lwazi Mvovo return to the South Africa side to face Wales on Saturday.

Coach Heyneke Meyer makes five changes to his starting XV with prop Tendai Mtawarira and hooker Bismarck du Plessis also included.

Back-three trio JP Pietersen, Bryan Habana and Johan Goosen are unavailable because of club commitments.

The Springboks laboured to a 22-6 win over Italy last weekend.

Meyer was always going to change his back three with Pietersen (White Knights) returning to Japan, and Habana (Toulon) and Goosen (Racing Metro) going back to France.

The two changes to the front row are rotational, with hooker Adriaan Strauss and prop Trevor Nyakane dropping to the bench.

Damian de Allende, 23, is the only other change to the match-day squad as the centre takes a place among the replacements.

The Springboks are without back row Warren Whiteley and prop Jannie du Plessis, who have calf and hamstring injuries respectively.

South Africa's autumn Tests
Saturday, 8 November: Ireland 29-15 South Africa
Saturday, 15 November: England 28-31 South Africa
Saturday, 22 November: Italy 6-22 South Africa
Saturday, 29 November: v Wales (14:30 GMT)

"This tour has been a good test of our depth and we're looking forward to see what the team can do on Saturday," said Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer.

"We will face a fired-up Welsh side this weekend. They played very well against New Zealand and it will be a tough end to our season, but we want to finish on a high and the focus this week has been on ensuring we keep on building on what we've done thus far this year.

"I believe this is a quality side and I believe it will do well on Saturday."

The Springboks have only lost once to Wales, in the first match to be played at the Millennium Stadium in 1999.

They have won all other Tests between the two nations, apart from a 6-6 draw in 1970.

Warren Gatland's side were denied a first Test win against the Boks on South African soil, losing 31-30 late on in June.

Meyer says the June Tests against Wales were some of the "toughest" the Springboks have faced this season and "could have gone either way".

He added that South Africa will have to be particularly wary of the Welsh backs: "If they get quality ball they are a very dangerous side."

Wales have only beaten Fiji this autumn, losing to both Australia and New Zealand, but Meyer expects Wales to perform in next year's Rugby World Cup.

"I truly believe Wales will be strong in the World Cup...I think they are going to be a really difficult side to play against," he said.


South Africa: Willie le Roux; Cornal Hendricks, Jan Serfontein, Jean de Villiers (capt), Lwazi Mvovo; Pat Lambie, Cobus Reinach; Tendai Mtawarira, Bismarck du Plessis, Coenie Oosthuizen; Eben Etzebeth, Victor Matfield; Marcell Coetzee, Teboho Mohoje, Duane Vermeulen.

Replacements: Adriaan Strauss, Trevor Nyakane, Julian Redelinghuys, Lood de Jager, Nizaam Carr, Francois Hougaard, Handré Pollard, Damian de Allende.