Flanker Heinrich Brussow will return to the South Africa side for the first time since the 2011 World Cup when he lines up against New Zealand in the Rugby Championship fixture at Ellis Park on Saturday.
Breakdown specialist Brussow and lock Lood de Jager are the only two changes from the starting side that lost 24-20 in Australia last weekend, the pair replacing the injured Marcell Coetzee and Victor Matfield respectively.
Brussow will play at openside with Francois Louw switching to the blindside.
Coach Heyneke Meyer has also made five changes to his bench with uncapped prop Vincent Koch included, along with wing Cornal Hendricks, prop Trevor Nyakane, lock Flip van der Merwe and loose-forward Warren Whiteley.
“Injuries have forced our hand a bit but we’ve stuck with our planned rotational policy on the bench and it will be great to see what Heinrich, Vincent and Flip can do,” Meyer said in a South African Rugby Union media release on Wednesday.
“The breakdown battle will again be huge and it will be good to see Heinrich and Francois play together. They are versatile players and I am convinced they will combine perfectly.
“It’s also great to see Flip back in the fold.
“We had a look at Pieter-Steph du Toit but he is not yet 100 percent match-ready, and Franco Mostert was also discussed but in the end we decided to go with Flip as he will add valuable experience to our bench.
“We planned to bring Trevor, Warren and Cornal back for this match. Trevor and Warren have been playing great rugby this season and Cornal is a superb finisher, as he’s shown so often last year.”
Meyer conceded his side let their intensity drop in the closing stages of Saturday’s defeat in Brisbane and urged his players to avoid a repeat performance against the world champion All Blacks, who beat Argentina 39-18 in Christchurch last week.
“We played some great rugby last weekend but this week we have to put in an 80-minute effort. We have to be especially focused in the last 10 minutes, because New Zealand always finish strongly,” the coach added.
“By not making too many changes this week, we’re giving some combinations the opportunity to settle a bit more. Our youngsters will have to put up their hands on Saturday, I would not have selected them if I didn’t believe they can do the job.”
Team: 15-Willie le Roux, 14-JP Pietersen, 13-Jesse Kriel, 12-Damian de Allende, 11-Bryan Habana, 10-Handre Pollard, 9-Ruan Pienaar, 8-Schalk Burger (captain), 7-Francois Louw, 6-Heinrich Brussow, 5-Lood de Jager, 4-Eben Etzebeth, 3-Jannie du Plessis, 2-Bismarck du Plessis, 1-Tendai Mtawarira
Replacements: 16-Adriaan Strauss, 17-Trevor Nyakane, 18-Vincent Koch, 19-Flip van der Merwe, 20-Warren Whiteley, 21-Cobus Reinach, 22-Pat Lambie, 23-Cornal Hendricks