It’s been a good few weeks for Ruan Dreyer.
First, the powerful Lions prop became a father and now he’s essentially walked into the Springboks team.
But the honour of helping to anchor the scrum against the All Blacks in Albany on Saturday comes with great responsibility.
Dreyer replaces the hugely unlucky Coenie Oosthuizen, who earlier this week returned home with a broken arm.
He’d grown immensely as an international player over the past few months.
“Ruan did well when he replaced Frans Malherbe against a powerful French front row in June,” noted Springboks coach Allister Coetzee.
There will naturally be some questions asked over whether Trevor Nyakane, who’s been on the bench for the last three matches, staked a claim for a starting spot.
But Coetzee believes his bench is one of the main reasons why the Springboks are doing well in 2017 and doesn’t want to spoil that dynamic.
“Ruan will start on Saturday because we want to persist with Trevor Nyakane and Steven Kitshoff as a combination off the bench to make an impact in the second half,” he said.
As expected, the imposing Jean-Luc du Preez replaces the injured Jaco Kriel at blinside flank but Pieter-Steph du Toit can count himself a tad unlucky to drop back to the bench with Franco Mostert returning.
Du Toit was outstanding in Perth against Australia last week and will provide cover as flank on the bench too.
“Pieter-Steph did very well when he stepped in for Franco last weekend in a rotational switch,” said Coetzee.
“Franco had five superb matches before he was rested last week, he is refreshed again and I expect another strong performance from him as his high work rate is much needed.”
Springboks: Andries Coetzee, Raymond Rhule, Jesse Kriel, Jan Serfontein, Courtnall Skosan, Elton Jantjies, Ross Cronje, Uzair Cassiem, Jean-Luc du Preez, Siya Kolisi, Franco Mostert, Eben Etzebeth (c), Ruan Dreyer, Malcolm Marx, Beast Mtawarira. Bench: Bongi Mbonambi, Steven Kitshoff, Trevor Nyakane, Lood de Jager, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Francois Hougaard, Handre Pollard, Damian de Allende.