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Louw at blindside flanker for South Africa on Saturday

24 November 2017

Bath Rugby's Francois Louw will make his third consecutive start in the Autumn Internationals, as South Africa take on Italy in Padova on Saturday. 

Louw starts at blindside flanker and the team will be looking to build on last weekend's victory against France in Paris. 

Bongi Mbonambi will make his first start for the Springboks, while Pieter-Steph du Toit returns to the starting team for the third Test in the Castle Lager Outgoing Tour.

Furthermore, the uncapped Warrick Gelant has been included on the bench and will make his Springbok debut should he go onto the field of play during the match.

The Springbok management decided not to risk Malcolm Marx for this weekend’s match, following the shoulder injury he sustained last week against France. This means Mbonambi, who has 12 Test caps to his name, will earn his first start on Saturday. Chiliboy Ralepelle will join Gelant on the bench.

Du Toit is fit again and picked at flank, where he replaces Siya Kolisi, who is not available for this match because of the birth of his second child. The versatile Du Toit suffered concussion two weeks ago against Ireland and as a result, he missed the Springbok victory over France in Paris.

The rest of the team that edged the French in the Stade de France in the previous outing is retained.

“We decided not to risk Malcolm, which means Bongi will get a well-deserved first start in the No 2 jersey,” said Springbok coach Allister Coetzee.

“Bongi has worked hard and I have no doubt he will grab this opportunity with both hands, as will Chiliboy, should he get a run.

“Warrick is in good form and his work-rate during training has been impressive. I know he will add value and I am very excited about the possibility of seeing him in action.”

Coetzee said the Italians will pose a difficult challenge at home: “We respect the Italian side, they are well coached and I know they will be up for the challenge. However, we focus on ourselves and a disciplined and clinical performance is what is needed this weekend.

“It would be important for our pack to again create a good platform of which to play from and therefore our set piece will be key in the expected wet conditions,” said Coetzee.

Eben Etzebeth will again lead the Springboks after the big lock has shrugged off a lower leg injury, which he suffered in Paris.

The Springbok team to play against Italy in Padova:

15. Andries Coetzee, Emirates Lions – 11 caps, 0 points 
14. Dillyn Leyds, DHL Stormers – 7 caps, 5 points (1 try) 
13. Jesse Kriel, Vodacom Bulls – 27 caps, 35 points (7 tries) 
12. Francois Venter, Toyota Cheetahs – 5 caps, 0 points 
11. Courtnall Skosan, Emirates Lions – 11 caps, 10 points (2 tries) 
10. Handré Pollard, Vodacom Bulls – 24 caps, 198 points (2 tries, 31 con, 39 penalties, 3 drops goals) 
9. Ross Cronje, Emirates Lions – 8 caps, 10 points (1 tries) 
8. Duane Vermeulen, Toulon (France) – 38 caps, 10 points (2 tries) 
7. Pieter-Steph du Toit, DHL Stormers – 30 caps, 20 points (4 tries) 
6. Francois Louw, Bath (England) – 56 caps, 40 points (8 tries) 
5. Lood de Jager, Vodacom Bulls – 34 caps, 20 points (4 tries) 
4. Eben Etzebeth (captain), DHL Stormers – 65 caps, 15 points (3 tries) 
3. Wilco Louw, DHL Stormers – 3 caps, 0 points 
2. Bongi Mbonambi, DHL Stormers – 12 caps, 0 points 
1. Tendai Mtawarira, Cell C Sharks – 97 caps, 10 points (2 tries) 

Replacements: 

16. Chiliboy Ralepelle, Cell C Sharks – 22 caps, 0 points 
17. Steven Kitshoff, DHL Stormers – 21 caps, 0 points 
18. Trevor Nyakane, Vodacom Bulls – 35 caps, 5 points (1 try) 
19. Franco Mostert, Emirates Lions/Ricoh Black Rams (Japan) – 17 caps, 0 points 
20. Dan du Preez, Cell C Sharks – 1 cap, 0 points 
21. Rudy Paige, Vodacom Bulls – 12 caps, 5 points (1 try) 
22. Elton Jantjies, Emirates Lions/NTT Shining Arcs (Japan) – 21 caps, 201 points (2 tries, 37 conversions, 39 penalties) 
23. Warrick Gelant, Vodacom Bulls – 0 caps, 0 points

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