Pieter-Steph du Toit and Faf de Klerk miss out on Third Test

Pieter-Steph du Toit will miss Saturday's third Test due to a shoulder injury. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk
Pieter-Steph du Toit will miss Saturday's third Test due to a shoulder injury. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk

SOUTH AFRICA will be without two key players for Saturday’s series decider against the Lions with Pieter-Steph du Toit and Faf de Klerk missing out through injury. 

Du Toit, who was World Rugby Player of the Year in 2019, picks up a knock to the shoulder in the second Test last weekend, so Franco Mostert moves from lock to the side of the scrum, while Lood de Jager is promoted from the bench to the starting team alongside Eben Etzebeth in the second row. Cobus Reinach replaces De Klerk.

Damian de Allende will become the third Springbok to reach the career milestone of 50 Test caps in the series on Saturday, while Morné Steyn is set to his earn his first Test cap since 2016 off the bench, and should he take the field then it would add him to the select group of Springboks to have played back-to-back Lions series. He kicked the penalty goal that sealed the series victory in 2009.

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Head coach Jacques Nienaber has opted to name three backs on the bench, with Steyn (fly-half) joining Herschel Jantjies (scrum-half) and Damian Willemse (utility back).

No 8 Duane Vermeulen, who joined the squad on Sunday for the first time since surgery on his ankle several weeks ago, won’t be involved.

“This is a massive Test for us with the Castle Lager Lions Series on the line, so it was important for us to maintain consistency in selection following on last week’s performance,” said Nienaber.

“Pieter-Steph du Toit was ruled out due to the shoulder injury he suffered last week, but we are fortunate to have experienced players such as Franco and Lood who can step in and who have the physical presence we need in those roles.

“Cobus is also an experienced player with a calm head and who can handle pressure, and we believe he will be able to dictate play well alongside Handré Pollard, while Herschel Jantjies has been great in adding the necessary spark we need off the bench, and will be asked to fulfil that role again.

“This group of players are among a handful of players in the history of South African rugby that have an opportunity to clinch a series against the Lions after winning the Rugby World Cup, and every player in this squad understands what a rare honour that is,” he added.

“I don’t think one needs any more motivation than that to win this weekend. We are preparing for a physical encounter and we know that every small battle will count if we want to win the series.

“This match is as important to us as it is for the Lions, so we know it is going to be tight, and we will have to capitalise on every opportunity we have to score points, and be effective in every area of our game.

“As Springboks, big moments such as these excite us, so we plan to go out there and give everything we have to clinch the Series.”

South Africa (v British & Irish Lions  in the Third Test @ Cape Town Stadium, Saturday 5pm BST): W le Roux; C Kolbe, L Am, D Allende, M Mapimpi; H Pollard, C Reinach; S Kitshoff, B Mbonambi, F Malherbe, E Etzebeth, L de Jager, S Kolisi (C), F Mostert, J Wiese.

Substitutes: M Marx, T Nyakane, V Koch, M v Staden, K Smith, H Jantjies, M Steyn, D Willemse.

Six personnel changes to Lions starting XV for South Africa series decider

About David Barnes 3956 Articles
David has worked as a freelance rugby journalist since 2004 covering every level of the game in Scotland for publications including he Herald/Sunday Herald, The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, The Scotsman/Scotland on Sunday/Evening News, The Daily Record, The Daily Mail/Mail on Sunday and The Sun.


  1. It will be interesting to observe the SA kicking game without FdKlerk who most would agree has been a real pain for the back 3 in the past two tests and how Williams in particular deals with the new boy on the block on Saturday.
    No doubt if there is a fall off in the efficacy of the SA box-kicking and Williams handles the situation better than he has done in his appearances so far we will never hear the end of it.
    That isn’t to say Hogg has had a perfect couple of games, however there are reasons, if not excuses, the lost game time and isolation for absolutely no reason whatsoever and the aforementioned quality of the South African kicking game and smothering chase game to suggest but two.

    • Agree, Hogg perhaps a little unlucky to be singled out – he did drop some but also did catch many too as he got most of the kicks. The wings did not have the same volume to catch and probably dropped a higher %.
      Also nothing has been noted about the number of balls the SA back 3 failed to catch – there were many – due to the heat both sides were putting on the catchers. Eg Colby on Murray : )

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