Scotland v South Africa: Springboks coach Rassie Erasmus - 'Scots have threats all over team'

Embrose Papier trains with South Africa
Scrum-half Embrose Papier will starts his first Test for South Africa after five caps as a replacement
Autumn Test: Scotland v South Africa
Venue: Murrayfield Date: Saturday, 17 November Kick-off: 17:20 BST
Coverage: Watch live on BBC Television, listen live on Radio Scotland & online; text commentary on BBC Sport website & app

South Africa head coach Rassie Erasmus says Scotland are "too good a team to make too many changes" against.

Erasmus has handed scrum-half Embrose Papier his first Test start with Faf de Klerk on club duty with Sale Sharks.

RG Snyman also comes in at lock with Eben Etzebeth still recovering from a foot injury sustained against England.

Pieter-Steph du Toit moves from the second row to blind-side flanker while Duane Vermeulen reverts to number eight with Warren Whiteley sidelined.

The Springboks have won their last five Tests against Scotland, with their last defeat coming at Murrayfield in 2010.

But Erasmus insists the hosts - who are ranked sixth, a place behind South Africa, in the world rankings - are a far trickier proposition these days.

"Number one (New Zealand) and two (Ireland) are pretty clear but after that, the teams ranked three to seven are all pretty close to one another; anybody can beat anybody else," he said.

"For a country with the amount of professional players they have, it is wonderful to see Scotland performing the way they are."

South Africa opened their European tour with a 12-11 defeat by England at Twickenham but rallied from 23-9 down to win 26-23 in injury time against France in Paris last Saturday.

Scotland, meanwhile, recovered from a 21-10 defeat in Wales by thrashing Fiji 54-17, their ninth win in 10 Tests at Murrayfield.

'What Scots lack in size they make up for with intensity and speed'

Erasmus says the Springboks cannot just concentrate their efforts on containing Scotland fly-half Finn Russell.

"Obviously he pulls all the strings and when he is on song, he is hard to contain," he added. "He certainly controls the speed of the game well.

"But the whole team has got threats. [Tommy] Seymour is awesome, [Stuart] Hogg is awesome, Finn is playing well, the nines they have... [Jonny] Gray at line-out time... the loose forward [Hamish] Watson is great over the ball. It is a really balanced team.

"We know we are going to face well-coached, fit, energetic team that is good in their systems. They are maybe not the biggest team in the world but what they lack in size they make up for with intensity, speed and a great system.

"We know their record at home, smashing teams. They put 50 points on Australia, they beat England proper, they beat Argentina well on the road. We know what are in for. It is going to be a tough game."

Lock Lood de Jager and scrum-half Ivan van Zyl also come into South Africa's match-day squad on the bench.

Papier gets his first start after five caps off the bench since his debut against Wales in June.

"I think he is ready for it," Erasmus added. "It looks like it will be dry and that will suit his game really well, as will the pace Scotland play at."

South Africa team: Willie le Roux, Sbu Nkosi, Jesse Kriel, Damian de Allende, Aphiwe Dyantyi, Handre Pollard, Embrose Papier; Steven Kitshoff, Malcolm Marx, Frans Malherbe, RG Snyman, Franco Mostert, Siya Kolisi (captain), Pieter-Steph du Toit, Duane Vermeulen.

Replacements: Bongi Mbonambi, Thomas du Toit, Vincent Koch, Lood de Jager, Francois Louw, Ivan van Zyl, Elton Jantjies, Cheslin Kolbe.

Top Stories

Elsewhere on the BBC