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Changes at back for Springboks

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Sportal.co.nz     13 Aug 2012     Getty Images

Zane Kirchner, who was forced out of the June series against England when suffering an injury in the first Test, is expected to return at fullback in place of Gio Aplon.

JP Pietersen has been forced out due a broken thumb suffered in the Sharks Super Rugby loss to the Chiefs and is expected to be replaced by Lwazi Mvovo while Bryan Habana is likely to move from the left wing to the right.

Assistant coach Ricardo Loubscher said the changes should not cause any issues to the players.

"These guys are professional and know how to adapt and what to expect...we expect a physical game and a kicking game," he said.

Wet weather in recent weeks has plagued the Cape. That was why the heavier Kirchner was preferred at fullback ahead of the other claimant Patrick Lambie who was also injured durignt eh England series.

And Loubscher hinted at the selectors' preference for Kirchner by saying he had been injured against England and deserved another chance.

Changing Habana from his preferred wing would not be an issue because Test players were capable of adjusting.

The return of Frans Steyn, who was unavailable for the third Test against England due to his marriage, was also a boost for the home team, especially for the kicking option he provided.

"At Test level kicking is always a big part of your game," Loubscher said.

"We're fortunate to have all those guys available. It's definitely an area where we are working hard to establish 100 percent accuracy in [execution] and also the fielding of kicks.

"Frans being [available again] is massive. He is also a big part of our game-plan in terms of his –carrying, getting us over the advantage line," he said.