Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus believes the only way to beat France in Paris on Saturday night (10.05 pm) is to bully them.

Having lost their November tour opener 12-11 to England last weekend, Erasmus says the French will be very physical and for that reason, the Boks have to change their free-running approach to a physical one if they want a first win on tour. 

The coach explains: “The French are very physical and skilful, and we will have to be good on defence and also be disciplined.

“The conditions here in the northern hemisphere demand a different approach and while we created a lot of opportunities last week we have to be better with our execution.”

A big blow to the Boks in terms of physicality is the absence of lock Eben Etzebeth, who will miss the game because of a foot injury. 


Franco Mostert replaces him in the second row, with Erasmus saying: “We believe it would be better not to rush Eben back as we still have two Tests left on the tour after the match against France.

“Franco has started in eight of our 11 Tests this year and he starts with Pieter-Steph du Toit, who is obviously also a good option to move to loose forward later in the match.”

The coach stuck with the same loose trio that played against England, with Warren Whiteley at No.8, Duane Vermeulen at No.7 and captain Siya Kolisi at openside flanker. 

MAN UP: Skipper Kolisi. Photo: Henk Kruger/African News Agency/ANA

The combination didn’t work that well last week, but with Francois Louw on the bench, it is clear that the Boks will switch tactics later in the game. 

Louw, the only fetcher in the match-day squad, will add a different dimension to the loosies, while Erasmus has hinted that he has plans to move Du Toit to the side of the scrum to make way for RG Snyman off the bench. 

Springboks: 15 Willie le Roux, 14 Sbu Nkosi, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Aphiwe Dyantyi, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Warren Whiteley, 7 Duane Vermeulen, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Steven Kitshoff. 

Replacements: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Thomas du Toit, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 RG Snyman, 20 Francois Louw, 21 Embrose Papier, 22 Elton Jantjies, 23 Cheslin Kolbe. 

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