South Africa have handed prop Ruan Dreyer the first cap after including him among four changes in the team to face France in the third and final Test at Ellis Park tomorrow, coach Allister Coetzee announced.
Jesse Kriel returns at centre after sitting out the second test because of concussion and Francois Hougaard and Jean-Luc du Preez come in as injury replacements as the Springboks seek a whitewash of the series.
“We wanted to keep changes in the starting team to a minimum because we have huge respect for this powerful French side,” said Coetzee.
But the inclusion of Ruan in the starting team gives us an important opportunity to build capacity in the tighthead position. This is a very important position.”
Dreyer replaces Frans Malherbe, who is the Springbok first choice at tighthead.
Kriel regains his position after Lionel Mapoe stood in for him in the 37-15 victory at King’s Park Rugby Stadium last Saturday, which sealed the series for the home team.
“Kriel’s combination with Jan Serfontein exemplifies the strong bond they have both on and off the field,” Coetzee said.
A concussion suffered by flanker Oupa Mohoje and scrumhalf Ross Cronje has handed the opportunity to Du Preez and Hougaard.