Du Preez leads SA against Scotland

Date published: September 30 2015

South Africa head coach Heyneke Meyer has named his team for the Pool B match against Scotland on Saturday.

He has made three changes to the starting line-up that defeated Samoa 46-6 on 26 September.

Bismarck du Plessis steps in for Adriaan Strauss at hooker, Lood de Jager comes in for Victor Matfield at number five and Jesse Kriel will man outside centre with injured Jean de Villiers ruled out for the remainder of the tournament.

There are two fewer centurions in this Springboks line-up compared to the last. De Villiers has left the squad and Matfield is not in the 23. Bryan Habana (112 caps) is the only centurion that remains in the starting line-up.

Scrum-half Fourie du Preez will captain the Springboks for the first time in his 73-test career as he is preferred to Schalk Burger to lead the side

He is only the fifth player to captain South Africa since the 2007 World Cup. The others are (with tests as captain since 2007 in parentheses): De Villiers (37), John Smit (35), Victor Matfield (19) and Burger (1). 

The front row of Tendai Mtawarira/Bismarck du Plessis/Jannie du Plessis will be deployed for the 20th time, extending the Springbok record for a front row. The world record is still the 29 by Ireland's Cian Healy/Rory Best/Mike Ross.

Habana needs one try to move into outright third place in test history. His 61st would see him overtake Shane Williams (WAL) and remain in pursuit of only Daisuke Ohata (JPN, 69) and David Campese (AUS, 64).

“Fourie has been one of the best scrum-halves in world rugby for a long time, but he also understands the game better than most players and is a tactical genius,” said Meyer.

“He will know exactly what is needed on Saturday when we continue our fight to keep our World Cup dream alive.

“Schalk stood in on the last occasion that Jean and Victor were both absent earlier this season before Fourie had returned to fitness. They are both great leaders who go about their work in contrasting ways and I think they will work extremely well in tandem.

“They are hugely experienced and they know what it will take to win this very important match against a great Scottish side.”

South Africa: 15 Willie le Roux, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Fourie du Preez (c), 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Schalk Burger, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Tendai Mtawarira 
Replacements: 16 Adriaan Strauss, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Frans Malherbe, 19 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 20 Willem Alberts, 21 Ruan Pienaar, 22 Pat Lambie, 23 Jan Serfontein

Date: Saturday, October 3
Venue: St James Park, Newcastle
Kick-off: 16:45 local (15:45 GMT)
Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)
Assistant Referees: Chris Pollock (New Zealand), Leighton Hodges (Wales)
TMO: George Ayoub (Australia)