Carr starts for Boks as Habana returns


Carr made his Test debut against the same opposition as a substitute in November 2014, and earned another cap a week later against Wales in Cardiff.

The 25-year-old Western Province star came on off the bench against England in a losing cause at Twickenham last week, but will run out at openside flank in Florence this weekend in place of Willem Alberts, who shifts to his more familiar blindside role as Pieter-Steph du Toit has moved back to lock.

Du Toit battled in defence especially as a No 7 against England, but will take over from the injured Eben Etzebeth (concussion) at No 4.

Habana’s pace and anticipation was missed at Twickenham, but he is over a minor knee injury and will be expected to marshal back-three who weren’t decisive enough under the high ball.

The 33-year-old takes over from JP Pietersen, who has dropped out of the match-23 completely after a forgettable outing last week.

Coetzee has resisted the temptation to bring in Lions powerhouses Rohan Janse van Rensburg and Lionel Mapoe at centre as he kept faith with Damian de Allende and Francois Venter.

Mapoe loses his bench spot as well, as there was a recall for flyhalf Elton Jantjies as the back-up to Patrick Lambie. Johan Goosen is set to cover centre and fullback, while Trevor Nyakane and Oupa Mohoje are also back in the mix on the bench.

“It was the right decision not to risk Bryan at Twickenham. He has been training hard all week and without any discomfort, so he is good to go,” Coetzee said on Thursday.

“Pieter-Steph has an impressive work-rate and I am expecting him to deliver the same at No 4 against a lively Italian pack of forwards. With him moving to lock, we felt Nizaam was the right person to start in the No 6 jersey as he did well when he came off the bench against England. Apart from his speed, he also makes the right decisions at the breakdown.

“Our set-piece is operating very nicely at the moment and we were outstanding in the scums and lineouts last week. However, we must improve in other areas because we had several soft moments at Twickenham, which we got punished for.

“Although they played together for the first time as a combination, I thought that our midfield pairing of Damien de Allende and Francois Venter performed well last week. They will improve as a combination by playing together.”

Saturday’s game kicks off at 4pm SA time.

Springbok Team

15 Willie le Roux, 14 Ruan Combrinck, 13 Francois Venter, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Patrick 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 (captain), 1 Tendai Mtawarira.

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


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Original source: Carr starts for Boks as Habana returns