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South Africa Make Five Changes To Starting XV For Wales Clash

South Africa coach Allister Coetzee has made five changes to his starting XV for Saturday’s clash against Wales in Cardiff on Saturday.

Talented Blue Bulls youngster Warrick Gelant, who looked the part after coming off the bench during the Boks comfortable 35-6 win over Italy last week, comes in on the left wing to make his first start the Boks, replacing the Lions’ Courtnall Skosan who drops out of the matchday 23.

The 22-year-old is the only change in the backline.

While another exciting young talent Dan du Preez also makes his first start for his country at number 8, with the Sharks youngster replacing the experienced Duane Vermeulen who has returned to his club Toulon, due to the test falling outside World Rugby’s Test window.

Du Preez is one of four changes up front with Stormers prop Steven Kitshoff replacing veteran Tendai Mtawararira at loosehead, who is ruled out of the game with a groin injury.

The world’s best hooker in 2017 – Malcolm Marx, returns at number two after recovering from a shoulder injury with Bongi Mbonambi dropping down to the bench.

Stormers captain Siya Kolisi, who has been in excellent form this season, returns to the backrow after taking paternal leave, replacing Francois Louw, who returns to his club Bath, for the same reason as Vermeulen.

While on the bench, uncapped pair Lukhanyo Am and Louis Schreuder come in and offer cover at centre and scrum-half respectively, with forwards Uzair Cassiem, Oupa Mohoje and Ruan Dreyer making up the rest of the bench.

South Africa will be looking to end a disappointing year on a high, having only won two matches in the Rugby Championship, and suffered a record 57-0 defeat to New Zealand while also falling to their worst defeat to Ireland this month, when they were thumped 38-3 in Dublin.

The abrasive Eben Etzebeth captains the side on his 67th appearance for his country.

Coach Allister Coetzee is under pressure and a defeat on Saturday could well spell the end of his reign.

Hefin Jones, Pundit Arena

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Author: The PA Team

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