By Nick Said
CAPE TOWN (Reuters) - South Africa coach Rassie Erasmus has shuffled his backline and included exciting fullback Warrick Gelant as one of five changes to his side as he seeks a series clean-sweep against England in the third and final test at Newlands on Saturday.
Gelant takes over from the experienced Willie le Roux, who drops to the bench, and Andre Esterhuizen will earn his second cap at inside centre in the place of Damian de Allende.
In a new midfield pairing, Jessie Kriel starts at outside centre ahead of Lukanyo Am.
Flyhalf Handre Pollard, so impressive in the first two tests of the series for the Boks, drops to the bench as he is rested to allow Elton Jantjies to start in the number 10 jersey.
Gelant, who has won four previous caps, is an exciting runner though with wet conditions predicted for Newlands on Saturday, it could be a test that is played at close quarters, which is why the more muscular Esterhuizen has been selected.
In the only change among the forward pack, Chiliboy Ralepelle starts at hooker with Schalk Brits, who announced his retirement from rugby last month after a decade with Saracens in England, taking his place among the replacements.
Brits was brought into the squad after the first test to add experience and could win his first cap since the 2015 World Cup.
"No one is out of the team because of a lack of form, the changes are due to our long-term planning for next year’s Rugby World Cup as we continue to build squad depth and capacity," Erasmus said in a media release from South African Rugby.
"The series might be won but we still have an important test match on Saturday, against a very determined English side who will be looking to end the series on a high.
"I expect a very physical and close-fought game. We are desperate to win and make it 3-0 while England will be desperate to win the game, make it 2-1 and finish their tour on a positive note."
South Africa recovered from early deficits to win the first two tests, claiming a thrilling 42-39 success in Johannesburg and a more routine 23-12 win in Bloemfontein last weekend.
Team: 15-Warrick Gelant, 14-S'busiso Nkosi, 13-Jessie Kriel, 12-Andre Esterhuizen, 11-Aphiwe Dyantyi, 10-Elton Jantjies, 9-Faf de Klerk, 8-Duane Vermeulen, 7-Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6-Siya Kolisi (captain), 5-Franco Mostert, 4-RG Snyman, 3-Frans Malherbe, 2-Chiliboy Ralepelle, 1-Tendai Mtawarira
Replacements: 16-Schalk Brits, 17-Steven Kitshoff, 18-Thomas du Toit, 19-Jean-Luc du Plessis, 20-Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 21-Embrose Papier, 22-Handre Pollard, 23-Willie le Roux.
(Reporting By Nick Said; Editing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg)