South Africa v Italy, East London, June 26
Springboks await much-changed Azzurri
June 24, 2010
Italy's Marco Bortolami off loads the ball under pressure, South Africa v Italy, Puma Stadium, Witbank, South Africa, June 19, 2010
Italy lock Marco Bortolami has earned a start in the second Test © Getty Images
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Teams: Italy | South Africa

John Smit will lead South Africa against Italy in East London after recovering from a hamstring injury that ruled him out of the Springboks' victory over the Azzurri in Witbank last weekend. Smit's return to the line-up is one of seven changes to the starting team - five new players and two positional switches - that beat Italy by 29-13 with a further six changes on the bench.

Andries Bekker is handed his first start of the year with Victor Matfield rested while Schalk Burger is also fit again and takes over at flank in the place of Dewald Potgieter. Smit comes in at the expense of Chiliboy Ralepelle who drops to the bench. Danie Rossouw was a late injury withdrawal from the replacements, with his place going to Bulls youngster Flip van der Merwe.

Italy coach Nick Mallett has made the bold move of changing nine of his starting line-up. Skipper Sergio Parisse, a try-scorer in last weekend's 29-13 loss in Witbank, leads the survivors, with fullback Luke McLean, wing Mirco Bergamasco, prop Salvatore Perugini, centre Andrea Masi and fly-half Craig Gower all surviving the sweeping alterations.

Joining the skipper in the back-row are flankers Manoa Vosawai and Paul Derbyshire while experienced duo Marco Bortolami and Carlo del Fava form a new-look second row. Six Nations skipper Leonardo Ghiraldini drops to the bench as Fabio Ongaro returns at hooker while Lorenzo Cittadini is named at tight-head following an injury to Martin Castrogiovanni.

Gower has a new halfback partner in Simon Picone while the experienced Gonzalo Canale has been recalled to midfield in place of Matteo Pratichetti. Michele Sepe replaces Kaine Robertson in the back-three.

South Africa: G Aplon (Stormers), J de Villiers (Western Province), J Fourie (Stormers), J de Jongh (Stormers), B Habana (Stormers), M Steyn (Bulls), R Januarie (Stormers), G Steenkamp (Bulls), J Smit (Sharks, capt), J du Plessis (Sharks), B Botha (Bulls), A Bekker (Stormers), S Burger (Stormers), F Louw (Stormers), P Spies (Bulls)

Replacements: C Ralepelle (Bulls), BJ Botha (Ulster), F van der Merwe (Bulls), D Potgieter (Bulls), R Pienaar (Sharks), B James (Bath), W Oliver (Bulls)

Italy: L McLean (Benetton Treviso), M Sepe (Viadana), G Canale (Clermont Auvergne), A Masi (Racing Metro), M Bergamasco (Racing Metro), C Gower (Bayonne), S Picone (Benetton Treviso), S Perugini (Bayonne), F Ongaro (Saracens), L Cittadini (Benetton Treviso), C del Fava (Viadana), M Bortolami (Gloucester), M Vosawai (Banca Monte Parma), P Derbyshire (Petrarca Padova), S Parisse (Stade Francais, capt)

Replacements: L Ghiraldini (Benetton Treviso), F Sbaraglini (Benetton Treviso), Q Geldenhuys (Viadana), A Zanni (Benetton Treviso), T Tebaldi (Gran Parma), R Bocchino (Rovigo), M Pratichetti (Viadana)


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