Embrose Papier makes starting Test debut, Duane Vermeulen replaces Warren Whiteley vs. Scotland

Scrumhalf Embrose Papier is set to get his first Springbok start against Scotland on Saturday. Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

Duane Vermeulen will start at No 8 in a re-jigged back-row after Springboks coach Rassie Erasmus made six cganges to his starting side to face Scotland at Murrayfield on Saturday.

Vermeulen replaces Warren Whiteley, with the Lions eight man struggling with a calf injury that has also ruled him out of the Boks' final Test of their November tour against Wales in Cardiff.

Pieter-Steph du Toit, meanwhile, will pack down at blindside flank, moving from lock, where he started against England and France.

R.G. Snyman will start in the second row for the fourth time in his short international career, due to a decision not to rush Eben Etzebeth back from the foot injury injury he sustained against England, and Du Toit's shift from lock to loose forward.

The only other change to the starting team comes at scrum-half, where Embrose Papier will earn his first starting cap for the Springboks after Faf de Klerk was released back to his club, Sale Saharks, in England. Ivan van Zyl comes into the match-23 as replacement scrum-half, while Lood de Jager will provide lock cover on the bench.

The Boks have produced mixed results on tour today, losing 12-11 to England at Twickenham before showing composure to beat France 29-26, with a try from Bongi Mbonambi in time added on, and Erasmus says they must improve again to beat Scotland.

"Scotland is a well-coached side, they are difficult to break down and they will present us with a very tough challenge at Murrayfield," Erasmus said in a press release announcing the Boks' side.

"The matches in the northern hemisphere are all closely fought encounters, with the set-piece battle key, and it's important to grab the big moments and finish your opportunities."

Speaking on the selections for Saturday, Erasmus said: "Unfortunately Eben is still not fully fit and this gives R.G. Snyman another great opportunity to start against one of the top rugby sides.

"Moving Duane and Pieter-Steph around in the pack isn't disrupting at all, as both of them are very experienced and have played for us in these positions earlier in the season.

Meanwhile, Handré Pollard will become the second most-capped Springboks No. 10 when he make his 38th Test appearance on Saturday, surpassing 2007 Rugby World Cup winner Butch James' 37 caps in that position. Morné Steyn, with 64 Tests at pivot, is the most-capped Springboks fly-half.

Springbok Team to Face Scotland

15. Willie le Roux, 14. Sbu Nkosi, 13. Jesse Kriel, 12. Damian de Allende, 11. Aphiwe Dyantyi, 10. Handré Pollard, 9. Embrose Papier, 8. Duane Vermeulen, 7. Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6. Siya Kolisi (captain), 5. Franco Mostert, 4. R.G. Snyman, 3. Frans Malherbe, 2. Malcolm Marx, 1. Steven Kitshoff.


16. Bongi Mbonambi, 17. Thomas du Toit, 18. Vincent Koch, 19. Lood de Jager, 20. Francois Louw, 21. Ivan van Zyl, 22. Elton Jantjies, Cheslin Kolbe.