Cronje returns for Springboks

The Rugby Championship
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman in Japan

Lions halfback Ross Cronje has slotted straight back into the Springboks no. 9 jersey for Saturday's clash with the Wallabies.

Cronje missed South Africa's 41-23 win over Argentina in Salta a fortnight ago with an ankle problem, but has shaken that off to return to the starting XV.

His return pushes Francois Hougaard to the bench, with Rudy Paige dropping out of the matchday squad.

Flyhalf Handre Pollard has also made a remarkable return to the 23, for the first time since the 2015 Rugby World Cup, with South Africa coach Allister Coetzee impressed by his work on his fitness.

Handre Pollard will make his return to the Springboks' 23. Photo: Getty Images“I am really satisfied with the way he has trained till now and it’s great for the team to have a player of his calibre on the bench,” he said.

Pieter-Steph du Toit has come into the starting team, combining with skipper Eben Etzebeth in the second row for the first time this year, with Franco Mostert rotated out of the team.

Lood de Jager will be injected off the bench into that locking combination.

“Franco has played an enormous amount of rugby – at Vodacom Super Rugby level, playing club rugby in Japan and starting all of our Tests matches so far this year,” Coetzee said.

“We have to be sensible in managing the workload of certain players, such as Franco. We are fortunate to have a number of very good locks. Pieter-Steph now gets an opportunity to start again, and we know what he is capable of.” 

Australia hosts South Africa on Saturday September 9, kicking off at 6pm AWST, 8pm AEST LIVE on FOX SPORTS, TEN, Win and via RUGBY.com.au RADIO. Buy tickets here.

TEAM

IN: Lood de Jager, Handre Pollard, Ross Cronje

OUT: Franco Mostert, Rudy Paige, Curwin Bosch

South Africa to take on the Wallabies 

1. Tendai Mtawarira

2. Malcolm Marx

3. Coenie Oosthuizen

4. Eben Etzebeth

5. Pieter-Steph du Toit

6. Siya Kolisi

7. Jaco Kriel

8. Uzair Cassiem

9. Ross Cronje

10. Elton Jantjies

11. Courtnall Skosan

12. Jan Serfontein

13. Jesse Kriel

14. Raymond Rhule

15. Andries Coetzee

Reserves

16. Bongi Mbonambi

17. Steven Kitshoff

18. Trevor Nyakane

19. Lood de Jager

20. Jean-Luc du Preez

21. Francois Hougaard

22. Handre Pollard

23. Damian de Allende