There has been a further shake-up to the Springbok starting fifteen for the second Rugby Championship Test against the All Blacks this coming weekend.
Joseph Dweba is set to start at hooker, following what has been called a precautionary withdrawal of Bongi Mbonambi who took a knock to his knee at training on Tuesday afternoon.
“We have an important Castle Lager Rugby Championship tour coming up and a year-end tour later this year, so we don’t want to take any risks with Bongi,” said coach Jacques Nienaber.
Dweba will pack down alongside Ox Nche and Frans Malherbe in one of the least experienced front rows to take on the All Blacks, with a combined 64 caps between them.
“Joseph has been working hard at training and he’s been waiting patiently for his chance, and we feel that it doesn’t get better than facing the All Blacks, who are one of the best teams in the world,” Nienaber said.
It’s a luxury not many in world rugby enjoy having, the depth and a pool of readily available players in almost every position to choose from.
Dweba started both tests he has played to date, against Wales in July and against Argentina last year, he joins former Cheetahs team-mate Ox Nche, who between them have close to 100 first-class games.
“They progressed through the SA Rugby junior rugby ranks together before forming a strong combination at the Toyota Cheetahs in the Carling Currie Cup and Guinness Pro14 competitions, and we believe their familiarity will give us the best chance in this match,” added Nienaber.
That combined with the experience of Frans Malherbe, who will earn his 50th Test cap this weekend, there should be little to unsettle a forward pack that dominated the Kiwis last weekend.
Springbok try against New Zealand
On a plate 🍽️
From AM to PM, Lukhanyo Am keeps dishing out ice cold offloads! 🥶#RSAvNZL #StrongerTogether #StrongerForever pic.twitter.com/9jO8isAQK8
— Springboks (@Springboks) August 10, 2022
With a three-match tour to Australia and Argentina, as well as the year-end tour on the cards, Mbonambi’s precautionary withdrawal could be a blessing in disguise for the number one hooker in the country who will get some much-needed rest.
Victory in Ellis Park will be a must, the Springboks vs All Blacks match will be preceded by a curtain raiser by the Women Boks who are expected to beat Spain in their opening game of a two-match Test series.
The history books and the current slump of the All Blacks who have lost their last three matches, lean towards a Springbok victory.
The Springboks’ winning nine of the 14 Tests the two countries have played at Ellis Park. The last time they faced the All Blacks at Ellis Park was July 2015, on that day it was the visitors who ran out 27 points to 20 victors.
Interview ahead of All Blacks test 9 August 2022: