COETZEE AIMS FOR CONTINUITY
Du Preez set for Bok start with Kriel on bench
The Springboks may already have won the series against France, but coach Allister Coetzee does not plan to take the foot off the pedal in the dead rubber at Ellis Park on Saturday.
Coetzee will not make wholesale changes to the squad. He did not want to tamper with the consistency the squad had achieved in the past two weeks, he said.
In the only change, Jean-Luc du Preez is expected to start at No7 for the first time in the series. He will replace Oupa Mohoje, who has been ruled out after being stretchered off the field in the first half with concussion last week.
Springbok doctor Konrad von Hagen said centre Jesse Kriel’s recovery had gone well.
"If all goes well in the final phase of recovery, he will be available for selection on Saturday‚" Von Hagen said.
Du Preez earned rave reviews for his impressive performance after coming on for Mohoje in Durban and has a chance to claim a starting place in the team.
In his first media conference since the Boks arrived in Johannesburg on Monday, Coetzee said he would like to keep the team the same "as far as possible for the sake of continuity, but there is also an opportunity to build capacity".
"With the performance of Jean-Luc du Preez‚ there is an opportunity for him to make sure that we build that capacity in the team.
"We have combinations going‚ we want to keep continuity as far as possible‚" Coetzee said. "There may be one or two other changes but definitely not wholesale changes because the French are a very good side and we respect them massively.
"This is not just another match; it is another important Test match for us and we must each week show progression and consistency in all departments," Coetzee said.
The other notable change in the squad may see Kriel start on the bench as Coetzee is expected to stick to Lionel Mapoe at No13.
"He [Kriel] may find himself in the starting 23 this weekend.
"I have no doubt that he has recovered tremendously and I can’t wait to see him get another opportunity in the Springbok [team]," he said.