Etze­beth out of Bok side to face France

The Herald (South Africa) - - Sport - Craig Ray

De­spite in­di­cat­ing that lock Eben Etze­beth would be fit to take on France in Paris on Satur­day‚ coach Rassie Eras­mus de­cided against pick­ing him for the clash when he re­vealed his team on Thurs­day.

For­mer Li­ons and cur­rent Glouces­ter lock Franco Mostert re­places Etze­beth in one of three changes fol­low­ing last week’s 12-11 de­feat to Eng­land.

Scrumhalf Faf de Klerk and full­back Wil­lie le Roux were also in­cluded.

Etze­beth was not con­sid­ered be­cause of an an­kle in­jury, 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.

De Klerk re­places Ivan van Zyl while Le Roux comes in for Damian Willemse. Both Van Zyl and Willemse drop out of the match 23 al­to­gether.

Scrumhalf Em­brose Papier re­tains his place on the bench while Ch­es­lin Kolbe re­turns to take his place among the re­place­ments.

Sara­cens prop Vin­cent Koch is also in­cluded among the re­serves, with Wilco Louw dropped from the squad that lost to Eng­land at Twick­en­ham.

Kolbe‚ Mostert‚ Le Roux‚ Koch and De Klerk were all un­avail­able last week­end as the match fell out­side the of­fi­cial Test win­dow.

Hooker Mal­colm Marx‚ who was one of the main cul­prits for the loss last week­end with his way­ward li­ne­out throw­ing‚ re­tains his place with Bongi Mbonambi on the wood for an­other week.

The Boks lost four balls on their own throw‚ all in cru­cial po­si­tions.

Marx’s re­ten­tion means there is still no place for 37year-old third choice hooker Schalk Brits.

“It’s good to have the ex­pe­ri­enced play­ers back in the start­ing team for France‚” Eras­mus said.

“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.

“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.”

France have picked the pow­er­ful Louis Pi­camoles at No 8 while their back­line in­cludes bru­tal cen­tre Mathieu Bastareaud.

Eras­mus de­scribed France as a dan­ger­ous side‚ and said the home side would pro­vide the Spring­boks with for­mi­da­ble op­po­si­tion on Satur­day.

“The French are very phys­i­cal and skil­ful‚ and we will have to be good on de­fence and also be dis­ci­plined.”

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