sport

Springboks make two changes

South Africa have made two changes from the side that beat Ireland for Saturday's revenge mission against Scotland at Murrayfield.

Saturday's Test comes two years on from the Springboks' last trip to Edinburgh, when the then world champions were beaten 21-17.

Victory is the main goal for Heyneke Meyer against a Scotland side beaten 51-22 by New Zealand on Sunday, but the former Leicester coach is also hoping to help his players build experience and confidence from playing in European conditions ahead of the World Cup in England.

The 16-12 defeat of Ireland was a new-look South Africa's first away win this year, following the draw in Argentina and losses to Australia and New Zealand in the Rugby Championship.

"Winning is non-negotiable," Meyer said.

"I don't care whether it's by one point or two points, we just want to go out there and win the game.

"We've been struggling away from home and now I can see the confidence is coming."

Meyer has made two changes from the side which won in Dublin, with Toulouse loosehead Gurthro Steenkamp starting at prop in place of CJ van der Linde, who himself was a late replacement for Tendai Mtawarira on Saturday. Mtawarira, nicknamed 'the Beast' has returned home due to a heart condition.

Juan de Jongh will start at outside centre in place of Jaco Taute, who, like Van der Linde has been included on the bench.

"I felt playing Scotland, because they're a quality side this is more or less the same side," Meyer said.

"I thought our defence was excellent in the previous game (against Ireland) and playing Scotland, who scored three good tries against the All Blacks, we wanted continuity.

"I thought it was 10 minutes of brilliance from New Zealand which actually cracked open the game.

"We really want to improve the way we play, we really want to take it to Scotland and concentrate the way we're playing and hopefully we'll win on Saturday."

Speaking on a damp day in Edinburgh, Meyer reflected on the dry Highveld of South Africa and how the European conditions impact on the game.

"Here every single facet of play is an unbelievable battle," said Meyer, who has selected five players who play club rugby in Europe.

"These guys scrum for penalties, it's not just the start of the game.

"One big difference is the breakdown. I think Scotland are superb at the breakdown, if you just look at what happened against New Zealand.

"It's more fierce, it's more a battle and more physical, I believe, because it's a little bit slower and you need a different type of player.

"With the World Cup being here the more we can play here the better."

Saturday's Test will be the 22nd meeting of South Africa and Scotland since the first in 1906. The Springboks have won 16 and lost five, including the 2010 defeat in torrential rain.

On the changes, Meyer said: "Juan de Jongh has really impressed us all year. He's been great in training and I just felt he needed a chance to show what he can do.

"Beast is a huge setback and he (Steenkamp) is an experienced player coming in."

The Springboks have an ongoing concern over an ankle injury for tighthead prop Jannie du Plessis.

Meyer added: "He's really a warrior. We definitely need him there.

"Jannie is an unbelievable player, really wants to play for his country and although he hasn't trained this week he'll definitely be fit for Saturday."