All change for Boks

The Springboks have changed their entire starting XV for the first Test of their November tour of Europe. [more]

All change for Boks

The Springboks have changed their entire starting XV for the first Test of their November tour of Europe.

The World Champs have recalled their big guns after their first-choice side sat out Friday’s humiliating defeat to Leicester Tigers at Welford Road.

Captain John Smit and the majority of his country’s star players stayed at home in South Africa last week while a second team found themselves on the wrong end of a shock 22-17 loss to a hugely under-strength Leicester side.

Morne Steyn, the man who kicked the Boks to a series-clinching victory over the Lions in Pretoria takes over from Ruan Pienaar in the No10 shirt, while South Africa’s Player of the Year Fourie du Preez returns at scrum-half.

Jaque Fourie and Adi Jacobs link up in the centres following Jean de Villiers’ move to Munster, while Zane Kirchner takes over from French-based Francois Steyn as the nation’s first-choice full back.

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Bryan Habana and JP Pietersen, who both crossed the whitewash in that crucial triumph over Ian McGeechan’s tourists at Loftus Versfeld, are named on the wings, with Smit joined by Bismarck du Plessis and Beast Mtawarira in the front row.

Victor Matfield and Bakkies Botha start at lock, while injury to Pierre Spies sees Heinrich Brussow join Schalk Burger and Ryan Kankowski in the back row.

Leinster’s CJ van der Linde has been recalled to the matchday squad after Jannie du Plessis was forced home through injury.

Van der Linde hasn’t played for his country since a Tri Nations clash with Australia in 2008 but is now in line to win his 57th cap after being selected among the replacements for the Test in Toulouse.

The inclusion of the former Cheetahs star creates a break with recent South African tradition that has seen only players plying their trade in their home country selected to play for the Springboks.

But the about-turn surrounding van der Linde’s availability may give other big-name players contracted to overseas clubs hope of returning to national colours sooner rather than later.

Van der Linde joined Leinster at the beginning of last season and made an immediate impression with the Dubliners.

A knee injury has since forced him to miss a large chunk of action, however, and Leinster coach Michael Cheika may well be glad that his giant prop could pick up valuable game time over the coming month.

The World Champion Boks take on Italy, Ireland and Saracens after their trip to France and their front-row injury crisis is likely to see van der Linde involved in most of the matchday squads.

South Africa vs France, Friday, November 13, Toulouse

South Africa: Z Kirchner (Bulls); JP Pietersen (Sharks), J Fourie (Lions), A Jacobs (Sharks), B Habana (Bulls); M Steyn (Bulls), F du Preez (Bulls); T Mtawarira (Sharks), B du Plessis (Sharks), J Smit (Sharks, capt), B Botha (Bulls), V Matfield (Bulls), H Brussow (Free State Cheetahs), S Burger (Stormers), R Kankowski (Sharks)

Replacements: A Strauss (Free State Cheetahs), W du Preez (Free State Cheetahs), CJ van der Linde (Leinster), A Bekker (Stormers), D Rossouw (Bulls), R Pienaar (Sharks), W Olivier (Bulls)

France: D Traille (Biarritz); V Clerc (Toulouse), Y David (Toulouse), M Mermoz (Perpignan), C Heymans (Toulouse); F Trinh-Duc (Montpellier), J Dupuy (Stade Français); F Barcella (Biarritz), W Servat (Toulouse), N Mas (Perpignan), L Nallet (Racing-Metro), R Millo-Chluski (Toulouse), T Dusautoir (Toulouse, capt), I Harinordoquy (Biarritz), L Picamoles (Toulouse)
Replacements: D Szarzewzski (Stade Français), S Marconnet (Stade Français), S Chabal (Racing-Metro), J Bonnaire (Clermont), M Parra (Clermont), D Marty (Perpignan), M Medard (Toulouse), T Domingo (Clermont)

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