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Springbok XV unchanged for Soweto Test

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Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer on Wednesday named the same starting line-up that beat Australia last weekend for Saturday's Test in The Castle Rugby Championship against New Zealand at Soccer City in Soweto.

It's the first time this season that the Springboks will field an unchanged starting team for consecutive Tests. The team is the same as the one that beat Australia by 31-8 in Pretoria last weekend. The only change is on the bench, where Coenie Oosthuizen takes over from Pat Cilliers as prop replacement.

The last time the Springboks started two consecutive Tests with the same starting XV, was in 2009 in the home victories over New Zealand (31-19 in Durban on August 1) and Australia (29-17 in Cape Town on August 8).

"It's always a good thing if you don't have to make any changes and after the late replacements we had to call in last week, it's especially nice to be able to select an unchanged starting team for Saturday's Test," said Meyer.

"We've been hit hard by injuries this year, but thanks to the great work done by our medical team, we've managed to sort out a few of the little niggles left over from the Wallaby match for our final Test on home soil this year.

"Last week's win was very satisfying, but we all know we will have to make another step up against New Zealand on Saturday. They recorded a good win in Argentina and will be confident, but so are we."

The Springboks' starting XV has a combined total of 430 Test caps – 162 to the forwards and 268 to the backs.

The Springbok team to face New Zealand in Soweto is:

Position

Name

Province

Test Caps

15

Zane Kirchner

Vodacom Blue Bulls

20

14

Bryan Habana

DHL Western Province

82

13

Jaco Taute

MTN Golden Lions

1

12

Jean de Villiers (captain)

DHL Western Province

80

11

Francois Hougaard

Vodacom Blue Bulls

23

10

Johan Goosen

Toyota FS Cheetahs

3

9

Ruan Pienaar

Ulster, N-Ireland

59

8

Duane Vermeulen

DHL Western Province

3

7

Willem Alberts

The Sharks

16

6

Francois Louw

Bath, England

13

5

Andries Bekker

DHL Western Province

28

4

Eben Etzebeth

DHL Western Province

7

3

Jannie du Plessis

The Sharks

38

2

Adriaan Strauss (vice-captain)

Toyota FS Cheetahs

17

1

Tendai Mtawarira

The Sharks

40