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South Africa add Francois Steyn at centre against Wales

Frans Steyn
Francois Steyn joined up with the Springboks in Cardiff this week

Francois Steyn is the only change in the South Africa starting XV against Wales from the one that beat Ireland.

The 2007 World Cup-winner comes in at centre for Zane Kirchner, who drops to the bench at the Millennium Stadium.

Jean de Villiers is expected to recover from his groin strain to partner Steyn in the Springboks' midfield.

Stand-in captain Victor Matfield will become South Africa's record Test cap-holder when he leads the side out in Cardiff on his 103rd appearance.

The 33-year-old Bulls lock will surpass the previous best held by Percy Montgomery and injured skipper John Smit.

The loose forward position on the bench is filled by Willem Alberts who has recovered from a calf strain.

Steyn was unavailable for the Springboks' opening November tour 23-21 win in Dublin as his French club Racing Metro were not obliged to release him under International Rugby Board rules.

South Africa coach Peter de Villiers said: "At this stage with the World Cup around the corner, there are many things you consider.

"What we saw of Zane [against Ireland in Dublin] was what we expected of him, they were not tested a lot but we were happy with his performance.

"But Frans understands the defensive roles more as he has played there more and when a guy like that comes back they normally instil confidence in the players around them."

Wales, beaten 25-16 by Australia in Cardiff last weekend, are due to name their side on Thursday.


South Africa: Gio Aplon; Bjorn Basson, Frans Steyn, Jean de Villiers, Bryan Habana; Morne Steyn, Ruan Pienaar; Pierre Spies, Juan Smith, Deon Stegmann; Victor Matfield (capt), Bakkies Botha; Jannie du Plessis, Bismarck du Plessis, Tendai Mtawarira.
Replacements: Chiliboy Ralepelle, CJ van der Linde, Flip van der Merwe, Willem Alberts, Francois Hougaard, Zane Kirchner, Patrick Lambie.



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Ireland 21-23 South Africa
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Wales 16-25 Australia
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BBC Sport Wales coverage
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