South Africa, Scotland make changes for test

18:28, Nov 14 2012
Gurthro Steenkamp
RECALLED: Gurthro Steenkamp.

South Africa have recalled prop Gurthro Steenkamp and centre Juan de Jongh in making two changes for Saturday's rugby test against Scotland at Murrayfield.

Steenkamp replaces CJ van der Linde at loosehead after the latter took over as late replacement from Tendai Mtawarira in the 16-12 win over Ireland in Dublin at the weekend.

De Jongh replaces Jaco Taute at outside centre. Both Van der Linde and Taute have been included on the bench.

Steenkamp has not played for South Africa for more than a year.

"It's great to have Gurthro back - we wanted to select him last week but unfortunately he was not 100 per cent fit," coach Heyneke Meyer told the Springboks' official website.

On De Jongh's selection, Meyer added: "My plan has always been to give him a start on this tour as he's been playing very well lately and I'm excited to see what he brings to the team on Saturday."

South Africa were beaten 21-17 by Scotland on their last visit to Murrayfield in 2010 and Meyer predicted a "massive battle" on Saturday.

"We saw the match between Scotland and New Zealand and that the Scots scored three tries against the All Blacks (in a 51-22 defeat) - which is more than any other team has managed against them this year," he said.

"It was their first test back since their season started and they will not be an easy opponent on Saturday but we've also brushed off some cobwebs in Dublin and have had a good week on the training field."

Meanwhile prop Euan Murray is back for Scotland in one of two changes to the side that faced the All Blacks.

Murray missed the 51-22 home defeat from New Zealand last weekend because he doesn't play on Sundays for religious reasons. Geoff Cross drops to the reserves.

The only other change was David Denton staying at No 8 where he finished against the All Blacks, after substituting for Ross Rennie, who dislocated his shoulder and is out for a month. Captain Kelly Brown shifts to the openside flank.

Included for the first time was Glasgow wing and fullback Peter Murchie, who played for England Under-18s but was brought into the squad last month after qualifying on residency. He's in the reserves ahead of Max Evans.

Hooker Dougie Hall, who hasn't appeared since the World Cup more than a year ago, and veteran flanker John Barclay have also been named.

"I was pleased with Euan's contribution both at scrummage and in open play during the summer tour, while David Denton's aggressive carrying is something that really gets the crowd going," coach Andy Robinson said.

"Dougie Hall has had a good season for Glasgow and I know that John Barclay has been one of our most consistent and reliable back-row forwards since he made his debut five years ago.

"Peter Murchie is another who has had a fine start to the season with Glasgow and his desire to dominate in aerial combat has been a factor in selection.

"We know we're in for a bruising battle against South Africa this weekend and we will be primed for that physical confrontation."

Scotland: Stuart Hogg, Sean Lamont, Nick De Luca, Matt Scott, Tim Visser, Greig Laidlaw, Mike Blair; David Denton, Kelly Brown, Alasdair Strokosch, Jim Hamilton, Richie Gray, Euan Murray, Ross Ford, Ryan Grant. Reserves: Dougie Hall, Kyle Traynor, Geff Cross, Alastair Kellock, John Barclay, Henry Pyrgos, Ruaridh Jackson, Peter Murchie.

South Africa: Zane Kirchner, JP Pietersen, Juan de Jongh, Jean de Villiers, Francois Hougaard, Pat Lambie, Ruan Pienaar, Duane Vermeulen, Willem Alberts, Francois Louw, Juandre Kruger, Eben Etzebeth, Jannie du Plessis, Adriaan Strauss, Gurthro Steenkamp. Reserves: Schalk Brits, Heinke van der Merwe, CJ van der Linde, Flip van der Merwe, Marcell Coetzee, Morne Steyn, Jaco Taute, Lwazi Mvovo.

- Reuters and AP