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Springboks change three for England Test

South Africa will start five-eight Handre Pollard and halfback Cobus Reinach against England at Twickenham this Saturday in place of Elton Jantjies and Herschel Jantjies, who started in the 30-15 win over Scotland last weekend.

Lock Lood de Jager also returns with Franco Mostert gone to the bench.

Reinach makes his first Test start since August in the continued absence of the injured Faf de Klerk, while star wing Cheslin Kolbe has also missed the autumn Tests through injury.

England have more problems with hooker Jamie George and captain Owen Farrell out because of injuries sustained in last Saturday’s 32-15 win against Australia while front rowers Ellis Genge and Joe Marler have been in self-isolation after testing positive for coronavirus.

Genge will not be clear by Saturday but Marler could be involved. England announce their XV on Thursday.

The Springboks haven’t beaten England in London since 2014 but did defeat Eddie Jones’ team in the 2019 Rugby World Cup final.

“We built up good momentum in the tests against Wales and Scotland, and it is important for us to transfer that into our final match of the tour against England, so we opted to make only three changes to the starting team,” coach Jacques Nienaber said on Tuesday.

“England have made it clear that they’ll come hard at us in this match, and with a few British and Irish Lions players in their midst, home ground advantage, and a new record of eight wins in a row against Australia adding to their motivation this weekend … we know it will be a hard grind.

“That said, we will enter the match equally motivated, especially with the opportunity to retain our status as the top team in the world for a third successive season and winning all three matches in the (northern) tour for the first time in eight years being a real prospect.”

South Africa: Willie le Roux, Jesse Kriel, Lukhanyo Am, Damian de Allende, Makazole Mapimpi, Handre Pollard, Cobus Reinach; Duane Vermeulen, Kwagga Smith, Siya Kolisi (captain), Lood de Jager, Eben Etzebeth, Trevor Nyakane, Bongi Mbonambi, Ox Nche.

Reserves: Malcolm Marx, Steven Kitshoff, Vincent Koch, Franco Mostert, Jasper Wiese, Herschel Jantjies, Elton Jantjies, Frans Steyn.

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