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Rossouw comes in for Springboks

Peter de Villiers was not tempted to make wholesale changes to his South Africa side for Saturday's Tri Nations encounter against Australia despite calls for him to do so.

The Springbok coach made just one change to his starting XV and another to his bench for the clash in Bloemfontein.

Veteran lock Danie Rossouw has come in to replace Flip van der Merwe, one of three players that were considered doubtful after sustaining injuries in the 44-31 win over the Wallabies at the weekend.

Jannie du Plessis, the second of those doubtful players, is also expected to be fit after being named at prop, but Butch James loses his place on the bench. The Bath fly-half picked up a shoulder injury during his 15-minute cameo last week and his spot amongst the replacements is taken by Gio Aplon.

With the title having already gone to New Zealand, both sides are playing to avoid the wooden spoon and also have the Mandela trophy to play for.

"I wasn't tempted to make more changes, all our focus is on this one game and we can only take our future planning from there afterwards," said De Villiers. "There is still the Mandela Cup to play for and whilst we do not play only to win trophies we do see them as just reward for hard work.

"So hopefully our hard work will pay off and we can celebrate a win at the weekend."

Reflecting on the decision to pick Rossouw ahead of the five-capped Van der Merwe, who was given his first two Test starts in the last two outings, De Villiers said: "We feel that Danie will be better suited the to the type of game we would like to play as well as to what we expect the Wallabies may bring to the game on Saturday."

Vice-captain Victor Matfield conceded there was an improvement against the Australians in Pretoria - a match that saw the world champions end a four-game losing streak - but felt there was still room for improvement.

He added: "The line-outs were better but I was really impressed by how well we did at the breakdown. I was also very happy with the scrums which were a good launching platform for us. We will continue to see where we can improve this week."


From Belfast Telegraph