Springboks change two as they seek to alleviate Azzurri threat

BY MARC JACOBSON - NOVEMBER 18, 2016

South Africa are set to play their second outgoing test tour match against Italy at Stadio Artemio Franchi, Florence, on Saturday.

The two nations have played a total 12 test matches against each other since the first in 1995, which the Springboks won 40-21 under the boot of then-fly half Joel Stransky. South Africa has won all 12 since, and has not faced any real opposing threat in any fixture of falling short against their Italian counterparts.

This year, the Springboks have endured much negative strife into their style-of-play and descending form within their game of late, but this weekend, they will certainly look to add this fixture to their win tally. South Africa has so far, won four out of 10 test matches this year and after losing 37-21 to England last week, they will anticipate to make it five out of 11 this weekend and 13 in a row against the Azzurri.

This can spark a roll for winning momentum ahead of their final outgoing tour test match against Wales next weekend, therefore pending that it does not just depend if they win against Italy, but also as to how they win.  

The Springbok starting line-up only sees two changes since the English test last week, as Bryan Habana returns from injury to replace JP Pietersen on the left wing, while Nizaam Carr gets a starting berth at open side flank in place of Pieter-Steph du Toit who shifts back to lock in place of injured Eben Eztebeth.

Average score, South Africa vs. Italy:

South Africa 49.92 – 12.08 Italy

South Africa match-23 to face Italy on Saturday:

15. Willie le Roux, 14. Ruan Combrinck, 13. Francois Venter, 12. Damian de Allende, 11. Bryan Habana, 10. Pat Lambie, 9. Rudy Paige, 8. Warren Whiteley, 7. Willem Alberts, 6. Nizaam Carr, 5. Lood de Jager, 4. Pieter-Steph du Toit, 3. Vincent Koch, 2. Adriaan Strauss, 1. Tendai Mtawarira.

Replacements: 16. Bongi Mbonambi, 17. Steven Kitshoff, 18. Trevor Nyakane, 19. Franco Mostert, 20. Teboho Mohoje, 21. Faf de Klerk, 22. Elton Jantjies, 23. Johan Goosen.