Lions Tour 2021: South Africa makes three changes for second Test as they revamp front row

South Africa have revamped their front row for the second Test against the British and Irish Lions as they seek to level the three-match series.

Steven Kitshoff has been picked to start against the Lions in the second Test and will win his 50th cap for South Africa. Picture: David Rogers/Getty Images

Props Steven Kitshoff and Frans Malherbe will start the match in Cape Town this Saturday after both came off the bench at half-time in the first Test which the Lions won 22-17.

Kitshoff and Malherbe replace Ox Nché and Trevor Nyakane, with the latter named among the replacements for the second Test. Nche drops out of the squad due to a neck niggle sustained in last weekend’s 22-17 defeat. Bongi Mbonambi retains his place as hooker despite a hamstring strain.

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Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber has made three changes in total to his starting team and the third is at No 8, with Jasper Wiese replacing Kwagga Smith who is on the bench. Wiese will be making his first Test start after making his debut off the replacements bench against Georgia earlier this month.

Loosehead Kitshoff will earn his 50th cap at the Cape Town Stadium on Saturday.

Nienaber opted for a six-two split on the bench, which sees Nyakane and Vincent Koch provide cover at prop, while Marco van Staden takes over from Rynhardt Elstadt as loose forward cover along with Smith, while Herschel Jantjies and Damian Willemse will provide support in the backline.

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“This is a massive game for us; it is do or die in order to stay in the race to win the series and we selected a team that offers continuity in selection, but also that we thought would be the best suited to achieve the objectives we have set for this match,” said Nienaber.

“Ox did well in the scrums last week and has been ruled out due to injury, but fortunately we have a world class player in Steven who can step into the starting team. The fact that this will mark his 50th Test will make this occasion even more important for him.”

Nienaber said the Boks were in the right frame of mind to bounce back from the disappointment of last Saturday’s defeat in which the home side let a 12-3 half-time lead slip.

“We disappointed ourselves last week, and we all know how important it is to bounce back with a strong performance and show our fighting spirit and pride as a team and nation,” said the coach.

“For most players the Castle Lager Lions Series is a once in a lifetime opportunity, and we desperately want to win the series, so we will fight as hard as we can on the field to win this week so that we can achieve that goal.”

South Africa (v British & Irish Lions, Second Test, Cape Town Stadium, Saturday, 5pm BST)

15 – Willie le Roux (Toyota Verblitz) – 63 caps, 60 pts (12t)

14 – Cheslin Kolbe (Toulouse) – 15 caps, 40 pts (8t)

13 – Lukhanyo Am (Cell C Sharks) – 16 caps, 15 pts (3t)

12 – Damian de Allende (Munster) – 48 caps, 30 pts (6t)

11 – Makazole Mapimpi (Cell C Sharks) – 15 caps, 70 pts (14t)

10 – Handré Pollard (vice-captain, Montpellier) – 50 caps, 477pts (6t, 78c, 93p, 4d)

9 – Faf de Klerk (Sale Sharks) – 31 caps, 25 pts (5t)

8 – Jasper Wiese (Leicester Tigers) – 1 cap, 0 pts

7 – Pieter-Steph du Toit (DHL Stormers) – 57 caps, 25 pts (5t)

6 – Siya Kolisi (captain, Cell C Sharks) – 52 caps, 30 pts (6t)

5 – Franco Mostert (Honda Heat) – 41 caps, 5pts (1t)

4 – Eben Etzebeth (Toulon) – 87 caps, 15 pts (3t)

3 – Frans Malherbe (DHL Stormers) – 40 caps, 5pts (1t)

2 – Bongi Mbonambi (DHL Stormers) – 38 caps, 40 pts (8t)

1 – Steven Kitshoff (DHL Stormers) – 49 caps, 5pts (1t)

Replacements:

16 – Malcolm Marx (Kubota Spears) – 35 caps, 30 pts (6t)

17 – Trevor Nyakane (Vodacom Bulls) – 44 caps, 5 pts (1t)

18 – Vincent Koch (Saracens) – 21 caps, 0 pts

19 – Lood de Jager (Sale Sharks) – 46 caps, 25 pts (5t)

20 – Marco van Staden (Vodacom Bulls) – 3 caps, 0 pts

21 – Kwagga Smith (Yamaha Júbilo) – 8 caps, 5 pts (1t)

22 – Herschel Jantjies (DHL Stormers) – 12 caps, 25 pts (5t)

23 – Damian Willemse (DHL Stormers) – 8 caps, 5pts (1t)