Springboks lose Bongi Mbonambi, Joseph Dweba to start

South Africa will start with hooker Joseph Dweba in Saturday’s second Rugby Championship fixture against New Zealand after Bongi Mbonambi withdrew from the side named on Tuesday due to a knee injury picked up in training.

The severity of the injury is not yet known but Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber says that, rather than wait on the outcome of scans, they have decided to draft Dweba in for his third test cap.

Nienaber has resisted the temptation to include Malcolm Marx, who was man of the match in the 26-10 victory over the All Blacks in Nelspruit last weekend, from the start and he remains among the replacements.

“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 in a media release from South African Rugby.

Team: 15-Damian Willemse, 14-Jesse Kriel, 13-Lukhanyo Am, 12-Damian de Allende, 11-Makazole Mapimpi, 10-Handre Pollard, 9-Jaden Hendrikse, 8-Duane Vermeulen, 7-Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6-Siya Kolisi (captain), 5-Lood de Jager, 4-Eben Etzebeth, 3-Frans Malherbe, 2-Joseph Dweba, 1-Ox Nche.

Replacements: 16-Malcolm Marx, 17-Steven Kitshoff, 18-Vincent Koch, 19-Franco Mostert, 20-Jasper Wiese, 21-Kwagga Smith, 22-Hershel Jantjies, 23-Willie le Roux.

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