The Springboks will be out to level the series 1-1 during the second Test against the British and Irish Lions at the Cape Town Stadium on Saturday afternoon in the Mother City.
Excitement for the game has heightened since SA Rugby director of rugby Rassie Erasmus sent tongues wagging with the release of his video where he “exposed” alleged bias against the Boks during the first Test last weekend which the tourists narrowly won 22-17.
In his extraordinary hour-long video that was released on Thursday, Erasmus criticised Australian referee Nic Berry for inconsistency during the match and he also accused him of treating Bok captain Siya Kolisi differently to his British and Irish Lions counterpart Alun Wyn Jones.
World Rugby released a statement on Thursday night saying: “World Rugby notes the comments made by Rassie Erasmus. The nature of these will be raised with the union via the usual official channels.”
Eyes will be Saturday’s referee Ben O’Keeffe from New Zealander who will be assisted by Berry and Frenchman Mathieu Raynal and Marius Jonker will once again be the designated television match official (TMO).
On Friday, dugby’s governing body in Australia criticised what it termed the abuse of referee Nic Berry by Erasmus saying they have noted “with dismay and concern the recent public commentary …regarding Australian referee Nic Berry and other match officials.”
Springboks VS British and Irish Lions
Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber made three changes to his starting team and six in total to the match-day squad for the second Test match against the Lions where they will be looking to tie the series at 1-1.
Two of these changes are in the front-row where Steven Kitshoff, who made his Test debut against Ireland in 2016, will mark his career milestone of 50 Tests next to Frans Malherbe and Bongi Mbonambi in a new-look combination for the hosts.
Ox Nché, who packed down with Trevor Nyakane and Mbonambi last weekend, has been ruled out due to the neck niggle he picked up in the first Test but Mbonambi’s hamstring strain has recovered sufficiently for him to start the match.
The other change in the starting XV was at No 8 where Jasper Wiese will earn his first Test start after making his debut off the replacements bench against Georgia earlier this month.
Nienaber opted for a six-two split on the bench which sees Nyakane and Vincent Koch provide cover at prop, while Marco van Staden takes over from Rynhardt Elstadt as loose forward cover along with Kwagga Smith.
Herschel Jantjies and Damian Willemse will provide support in the backline.
De Allende, who has retained his midfield partnership with Lukhanyo Am, will take one step closer to earning his half century of caps as he will be running in his 49th Test, while Lood de Jager will earn his 47th cap if takes the field.
For the British and Irish Lions, head coach Warren Gatland has made three changes to the starting XV for the second Test match against the at the Cape Town Stadium on Saturday.
Conor Murray, Chris Harris and Mako Vunipola come into the side to be led by Alun Wyn Jones for his 11th successive Lions Test cap where the Welshman will once again be partnered by last Saturday’s player of the match Maro Itoje.
Vunipola will pack down with hooker Luke Cowan-Dickie and Tadhg Furlong to complete the front row, Courtney Lawes wins his fourth Lions Test cap on the blind side flank joining Tom Curry on the open side and Jack Conan will play at No. 8.
Dan Biggar, who will play fly-half subject to completing the return-to-play protocol and assessment by an independent concussion consultant, partners scrum-half Murray.
Harris joins Robbie Henshaw in the midfield to win his first Test cap while the back three of Anthony Watson, Duhan van der Merwe and Stuart Hogg stays the same and Taulupe Faletau has been to the bench and he win his fifth Test cap should he enter the fray.
Pick: British and Irish Wins by 0.40 at BetXChange