SOUTH Africa have recalled JP Pietersen for their World Cup quarter-final against Wales at Twickenham with the wing recovered from the knee injury that ruled him out against the USA.
Pietersen, a veteran of 63 caps who plundered three tries in the 46-6 Pool B victory over Samoa, is restored on the right wing with Bryan Habana switching to the No 11 jersey.
It is the only change to the starting XV that thumped the USA 64-0 in the final group match, but there are four new faces on the bench where seasoned quartet Adriaan Strauss, Jannie du Plessis, Ruan Pienaar and Pat Lambie are recalled
“We’ve seen first hand how important it is to have experienced players on the field at the end of a match and to have this kind of experience available on the bench in a knockout match is great,” Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer said.
Meyer had hoped to include Victor Matfield among the replacements, but the 38-year-old Test centurion has a hamstring complaint. “We were planning to use Victor from the bench to add even more experience to our replacements, but we’re also not prepared to risk him if he’s not ready,” Meyer said.
“Luckily, in Pieter-Steph du Toit, we have another young player who has been performing very well and will slot in with ease.”