The Rugby Championship
Schalk Burger to power Springboks from No.8
ESPN Staff
July 15, 2015
Schalk Burger is the only change to the Springboks' starting side © Getty Images

South Africa may be without one of the world's premier No.8s in Duane Vermeulen, but they have found a reasonably handy replacement for their Rugby Championship opener in veteran back-rower Schalk Burger.

Burger has been named in a strong Springboks squad, one that blends youth with experience, for Saturday night's clash with the Wallabies in Brisbane. The 75-Test veteran came off the bench last weekend but has been promoted to the starting side this week ahead of Lions skipper Warren Whiteley.

"We're expecting a massive contest for the ball on the ground on Saturday and with Schalk there next to Francois Louw and Marcell Coetzee, as well as Bismarck du Plessis, we've got a lot of players who are very good at the breakdowns," Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer said.

"Warren Whiteley played very well last weekend, but he knows exactly where he stands and will play again for the Boks this season. For this match though, we decided to go with this specific loose trio."

There are four new faces on the Springboks bench this week with Meyer rotating props Heinke van der Merwe and Frans Malherbe, lock Lood de Jager and winger Lwazi Mvovo into the match-day 23.

The Springboks were victorious on their last visit to Brisbane in 2013 but were beaten by the Wallabies in Perth last year.

South Africa: Willie le Roux, JP Pietersen, Jesse Kriel, Damian de Allende, Bryan Habana, Handre Pollard, Ruan Pienaar; Schalk Burger, Marcell Coetzee, Francois Louw; Victor Matfield, Eben Etzebeth, Jannie du Plessis, Bismarck du Plessis, Tendai Mtawarira. Replacements: Adriaan Strauss, Heinke van der Merwe, Frans Malherbe, Lood de Jager, Oupa Mohoje, Cobus Reinach, Pat Lambie, Lwazi Mvovo.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd

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