Francois Hougaard. Picture: REUTERS
Francois Hougaard. Picture: REUTERS

Scrumhalf Francois Hougaard was the sole casualty of Saturday’s 57-0 Albany annihilation against New Zealand while Raymond Rhule retained his place.

Hougaard was dropped from the 30-man Springbok squad for the two Rugby Championship Tests against Australia in Bloemfontein on September 30 and New Zealand in Cape Town on October 7.

The Sharks duo of S’busiso Nkosi and Louis Schreuder earned call-ups, while Bath loose-forward Francois Louw replaces the injured Jaco Kriel.

Changes were expected after the record defeat at the North Harbour Stadium.

Rhule had a nightmare on defence and missed nine tackles, but has been spared.

Hougaard’s inefficiencies as a Test level scrumhalf were laid bare in the face of masterclasses from All Black halfbacks Aaron Smith and TJ Perenara.

The Boks are under pressure to atone for their disastrous showing in New Zealand as they had gone into the game on a six-match unbeaten run.

Bulls flyhalf Handré Pollard also retains his place in the team despite his rusty outing.

Oupa Mohoje‚ Warren Whiteley and Frans Malherbe are still recovering from injury and were not considered for selection.

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