Willie le Roux, Faf de Klerk and Franco Mostert are back in the Springboks side to face France at the Stade de France in Paris on Saturday.
The experienced trio of European-based players, who were unavailable to play England at Twickenham because the match fell outside the Test window, were the only changes announced to the run-on team when Rassie Erasmus, the SA Rugby Director of Rugby and Springboks coach, confirmed the matchday squad.
Le Roux replaces Damian Willemse at fullback while De Klerk comes in at scrumhalf for Ivan van Zyl. Mostert replaces Eben Etzebeth, who sustained a foot injury in the 12-11 loss to England at Twickenham, in the only change to the pack.
With the availability of the Boks’ European-based players, Erasmus also announced three changes to the replacements.
Vincent Koch (prop), Francois Louw (loose forward) and Cheslin Kolbe (utility back) are set to provide impact off the bench.
“It’s good to have the experienced players back in the starting team for France,” Erasmus said in a press release to announce the squad.
“I thought Damian and Ivan did very well last week against England, but you need as much experience as possible playing away from home. We are building squad depth for the Rugby World Cup and they will be back in the mix as the tour progresses.”
Etzebeth was not considered because of the injury he picked up against England, which forced him to leave the field early at Twickenham.
“We believe it would be better not to rush Eben back as we still have two Tests left on the tour after the match against France,” Erasmus said.
“Franco has started in eight of our 11 Tests this year, and he starts with Pieter-Steph du Toit, who is obviously also a good option to move to loose forward later in the match.”
Springboks Team to Face France in Paris
15. Willie le Roux, 14. Sbu Nkosi, 13. Jesse Kriel, 12. Damian de Allende, 11. Aphiwe Dyantyi, 10. Handré Pollard, 9. Faf de Klerk, 8. Warren Whiteley, 7. Duane Vermeulen, 6. Siya Kolisi (captain), 5. Franco Mostert, 4. Pieter-Steph du Toit, 3. Frans Malherbe, 2. Malcolm Marx, 1. Steven Kitshoff.
16. Bongi Mbonambi, 17. Thomas du Toit, 18. Vincent Koch, 19. R.G. Snyman, 20. Francois Louw, 21. Embrose Papier, 22. Elton Jantjies, 23. Cheslin Kolbe.