Springboks stars return to starting team against All Blacks

The Rugby Championship
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman in Japan

The Springboks have brought star hooker Malcolm Marx back into the starting XV for a high-stakes clash with the All Blacks.

Marx and flyhalf Handre Pollard return to the starting team after coming off the bench in Brisbane, in what is a return to their strongest lineup, while Elton Jantjies and Bongi Mbonambi are both on the pine.

Injured winger Makazole Mapimpi returned to South Africa earlier in the week after a knee injury ended his chances of a Wellington start and his absence forced a backline reshuffle.

Jesse Kriel has shifted from outside centre to the right wing and Lukhanyo Am comes in to 13.

Ross Cronje comes into the 23 ahead of Embrose Papier, with Faf de Klerk remaining in the starting nine jersey.

Springboks coach Rassie Erasmus has put plenty of pressure on himself this week and said on Thursday the side would need to improve greatly on its Brisbane outing against the All Blacks.

“We have to deliver a much improved performance against the All Blacks,” he said. 

“Keeping our discipline and retaining possession will be key, because New Zealand’s ability to counter from turnover ball is well-known.

“That means we have to be patient, our decision-making must be good and we have to capitalise on the opportunities that we create. The traditional rivalry between the two countries mean we can expect a huge physical battle.”

The All Blacks named their team earlier on Thursday but have already had a change since their initial announcement with Sonny Bill Williams pulling out of his rugby return.

The All Blacks host the Springboks at Wellington Stadium on Saturday September 15, kicking off at 5:35pm AEST, LIVE on FOX SPORTS.

TEAM

IN: Ross Cronje, Lukhanyo Am

OUT: Makazole Mapimpi, Embrose Papier

1. Steven Kitshoff

2. Malcolm Marx

3. Frans Malherbe

4. Eben Etzebeth

5. Franco Mostert

6. Siya Kolisi

7. Pieter-Steph Du Toit

8. Warren Whiteley

9. Faf de Klerk

10. Handre Pollard

11. Aphiwe Dyantyi

12. Damian de Allende

13. Lukhanyo Am

14. Jesse Kriel

15. Willie le Roux

Reserves

16. Bongi Mbonambi

17. Tendai Mtawarira

18. Wilco Louw

19. RG Snyman

20. Francois Louw

21. Ross Cronjé

22. Elton Jantjies

23. Cheslin Kolbe