Franco Mostert in for in­jured Etze­beth

Glouces­ter lock in­cluded in Bok team to face France

Business Day - - FRONT PAGE - Craig Ray Cape Town

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.

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 in the team.

Etze­beth was not con­sid­ered be­cause of an an­kle in­jury he picked up against the English, 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,” said Eras­mus.

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 third choice hooker Schalk Brits.

There are only five sur­vivors in the Bok team that played France in Paris 12 months ago cen­tre Jesse Kriel, fly­half Han­dré Pol­lard, loose­for­wards Duane Ver­meulen and Siya Kolisi, and hooker Marx.

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

France have picked the pow­er­ful Louis Pi­camoles at No 8 while their back­line in­cludes cen­tre Mathieu Bastareaud. The pair are two of five starters from 2017’s match which the Boks won 18-17.

“The French are very phys­i­cal and skil­ful and the Spring­boks will have to be good on de­fence and also be dis­ci­plined,” said Eras­mus.

“The con­di­tions in the north­ern hemi­sphere de­mand a dif­fer­ent ap­proach and while we cre­ated a lot of op­por­tu­ni­ties last week we have to im­prove our ex­e­cu­tion,” he said.

Back in the run­ning: Franco Mostert takes the place of in­jured Eben Etze­beth while Wil­lie le Roux, back­ground, comes in at full­back for the Boks’ Test against France on Satur­day. Steve Haag/Gallo Im­ages

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