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Last Updated: Thursday, 13 September 2007, 09:59 GMT 10:59 UK
Burger's ban reduced after appeal
Schalk Burger
Burger will miss games against Tonga and England
England v South Africa
Stade de France, Paris
Friday, 14 September
Kick-off: 2000 BST
Live coverage on BBC Radio 5live & the BBC Sport website

South Africa flanker Schalk Burger has had his four-match ban reduced to just two games after appealing against the original decision.

Burger was cited for a dangerous tackle on Samoa scrum-half Junior Polu in the Springboks' 59-7 win on Sunday.

The appeal-hearing decision means Burger will be free to return to action in South Africa's final Pool A game against the USA on 30 September.

Wikus van Heerden has replaced Burger for Friday's vital clash with England.

In one other change, centre Francois Steyn replaces Jean de Villiers.

Inside centre De Villiers suffered a tournament-ending biceps injury in the Samoa victory and was replaced by Steyn on 43 minutes.

Tight-head prop Brendon Botha was also promoted in a tactical switch with CJ van der Linde dropping to the bench.

It would be a plus if we can have him (Burger) but we just have to move on

South Africa coach Jake White

Former captain Bob Skinstad was drafted into the squad as the replacement loose forward.

Van Heerden started both of South Africa's overseas matches in the Tri-Nations competition when White rested key players, including Burger.

"We are a squad of 30 players and there are certain players who played in the away leg of the Tri-Nations who I am very confident can stand in," said White.

"It would be a plus if we can have him (Burger) but we just have to move on."


The 24-year-old Stormers player was named world player of the year in 2004 and missed half of the 2006 season after suffering a serious neck injury.

He had to have two vertebrae fused together after suffering what was described at the time as a potentially career-threatening injury in a 29-15 win over Scotland in June 2006.

After he was ruled out, the Springboks lost their next five matches.

Full-back Percy Montgomery will earn his 89th cap, joining scrum-half Joost van der Westhuizen as the most capped Springbok.

Scrum-half Ruan Pienaar and centre Wynand Olivier are the only other changes to the squad from the Samoa game.

South Africa: Montgomery, Pietersen, Fourie, Steyn, Habana, James, Du Preez; Du Randt, Smit (capt), Br Botha, Ba Botha, Matfield, Van Heerden, Smith, Rossouw.
Replacements: Du Plessis, Van der Linde, Muller, Skinstad, Pienaar, Pretorius, Olivier.

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