South Africa v Wales, 1st Test
Springboks make three changes for Wales Test
June 11, 2014
Heyneke Meyer - not taking Wales for granted © Getty Images
South Africa have made three changes to the side that beat a World XV 47-13 for Saturday's first Test against Wales in Durban.
Centre Jan Serfontein, scrum-half Fourie du Preez, and prop Gurthro Steenkamp come in, replacing Frans Steyn, Ruan Pienaar and Tendai Mtawarira. Pienaar and Mtawarira drop to the bench while Steyn withdrew from the squad earlier in the day citing unspecified personal reasons.
Victor Matfield leads the side for the 18th time in a Test, and also equals John Smit's record of 111 Tests.
South Africa coach Heyneke Meyer said the trio had earned their places. "I planned on giving Jan [Serfontein] an opportunity this month. He was first selected when he was 20 last year and it's always been our plan to groom him for a long Springbok career. He's been playing well for the Bulls lately and his first start for the Springboks is well-deserved after making nine appearances from the bench in 2013."
He also said he did not take Wales for granted. "Although we got our season off to a good start against the World XV last weekend, there were a few areas we were not satisfied with and which we worked hard on this week. We will have to be at our best on Saturday and we want to make our supporters proud."
Warren Gatland will name his Wales side on Thursday.
South Africa: Willie le Roux, Cornal Hendricks, JP Pietersen, Jan Serfontein, Bryan Habana, Morné Steyn, Fourie du Preez; Gurthrö Steenkamp, Bismarck du Plessis, Jannie du Plessis, Bakkies Botha, Victor Matfield (capt), Francois Louw, Willem Alberts, Duane Vermeulen.
Replacements: Schalk Brits, Tendai Mtawarira, Coenie Oosthuizen, Lood de Jager, Schalk Burger, Ruan Pienaar, Johan Goosen Lwazi Mvovo.
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