The Springboks will be revelling at the chance to beat the Samoans, and in doing so grabbing three wins in a row in the inaugural Castle Incoming Series that has featured Italy and Scotland among the Samoans; that said, the Samoans are in the same situation and will be eager to deliver a physical onslaught to the Boks, making Saturday’s match somewhat of a “final”.
Samoa has opted for the exact same starting XV that dismantled the Italians last week in an impressive 39-10 display.
There is only one change among the substitutes where flanker Alafoti Faosilva replaces Piula Faasalele.
The Springboks have received three changes from the one which managed to overcome Scotland last week in a hard-fought 30-17 match-up.
The backline remains the same, however, Jean de Villiers’ fitness is in question due to an injury, and may be replaced by Jan Sefontein.
If De Villiers is unable to start, Adriaan Strauss will take over the captaincy, and Habana acting as vice-captain.
After Arno Botha’s injury last week, he is replaced by Willem Alberts barring a fitness test to take place on Friday; if Alberts doesn’t pass the test, Siya Kolisi will start on the flank.
Francois Louw will add some bulk onto the side of the scrum after missing last week’s game for his wedding, while Flip van der Merwe comes in for Juandré Kruger.
Rugby Informer’s take: Samoa has some significantly larger backline players, which will cause concern for the more inexperienced Springbok backs; however, if South Africa can meet the Samoans in the collisions, then SA should manage a win. Springboks by 5.
Springboks: 15 Willie le Roux, 14 Bryan Habana, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Jean de Villiers (c)/Jan Serfontein, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Pierre Spies, 7 Willem Alberts/Siya Kolisi, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Flip van der Merwe, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Adriaan Strauss, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Subs: 16 Bismarck du Plessis, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Coenie Oosthuizen, 19 Juandre Kruger, 20 Siya Kolisi/Marcell Coetzee, 21 Piet van Zyl, 22 Pat Lambie, 23 Jan Serfontein/Juan de Jongh.
Samoa: 15-James So’oialo, 14-Alapati Leiua, 13-Paul Williams (captain), 12-John Leota, 11-Alesana Tuilagi, 10-Tusiata Pisi, 9-Jeremy Sua, 8-Taiasina Tuifua, 7-Jack Lam, 6-Ofisa Treviranus, 5-Daniel Leo, 4-Teofilo Paulo, 3-Census Johnston, 2-Wayne Ole Avei, 1-Sakaria Taulafo
Subs: 16-Ti’i Paulo, 17-Logovii Mulipola, 18-James Johnston, 19-Kane Thompson, 20-Junior Poluleuligaga, 21-Brando Vaaulu, 22-Seilala Mapusua, 23-Alafoti Faosiliva.