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Scrumhalf Ross Cronje has been withdrawn from the Springbok team to face the All Back on Saturday in Albany because of illness and is replaced by Francois Hougaard, who was initially named on the bench.

Rudy Paige is now the replacement scrumhalf for the important Castle Lager Rugby Championship match on Saturday at the QBE Stadium in Albany.

The Springboks have won five and drawn one Test so far this season, however, Springbok captain Eben Etzebeth said his side face their biggest challenge this weekend against the world champions.

“Despite our results so far this season, we know we will have to step up our game,” explained Etzebeth.

“A local rugby fan came up to me and said he thought the All Blacks versus Springbok games are probably the biggest in world rugby and I agree with him. Our matches are always massive, we know they’re our biggest competition and hopefully they feel the same about us.”

Meanwhile, Etzebeth added that he has embraced the captaincy since he took over the leadership from the injured Warren Whiteley.

“As a leader, I am even more competitive because your ambition for success is bigger,” explained the towering 25-year old lock who makes his 61st Test appearance on Saturday.

The match kicks off at 19h36 on Saturday and is live on SuperSport.

The revised Springbok side to face the All Blacks in Albany:
15. Andries Coetzee (Emirates Lions), 6 caps, 0 points
14. Raymond Rhule (Toyota Cheetahs), 6 caps, 5 points (1 try)
13. Jesse Kriel (Vodacom Bulls), 22 caps, 30 points (6 tries)
12. Jan Serfontein (Vodacom Bulls), 32 caps, 20 points (4 tries)
11. Courtnall Skosan (Emirates Lions), 6 caps, 5 points (1 try)
10. Elton Jantjies (Emirates Lions), 17 caps, 179 points (2 try, 32 conversions, 35 penalties)
9. Francois Hougaard (Worcester Warriors, England) 45 caps, 25 points (5 tries)
8. Uzair Cassiem (Toyota Cheetahs) 4 caps, 5 points (1 try)
7. Jean-Luc du Preez (Cell C Sharks), 7 caps, 5 points (1 try)
6. Siya Kolisi (DHL Stormers), 22 caps, 20 points (4 tries)
5. Franco Mostert (Emirates Lions), 12 caps, 0 points
4. Eben Etzebeth (captain, DHL Stormers), 60 caps, 15 points (3 tries)
3. Ruan Dreyer (Emirates Lions), 1 cap, 0 points
2. Malcolm Marx (Emirates Lions), 8 caps, 10 points (2 tries)
1. Tendai Mtawarira (Cell C Sharks), 93 caps, 10 points (2 tries)

Replacements:
16. Bongi Mbonambi (DHL Stormers), 10 caps, 0 points
17. Steven Kitshoff (DHL Stormers), 16 caps, 0 points
18. Trevor Nyakane (Vodacom Bulls), 31 caps, 5 points (1 try)
19. Lood de Jager (Vodacom Bulls), 30 caps, 20 points (4 tries)
20. Pieter-Steph du Toit (DHL Stormers), 26 caps, 20 points (4 tries)
21. Rudy Paige (Vodacom Bulls), 8 caps, 5 points (1 tries)
22. Handré Pollard (Vodacom Bulls), 20 caps, 188 points (2 tries, 29 conversions, 37 penalties, 3 drop goals)
23. Damian de Allende (DHL Stormers), 24 caps, 15 points (3 tries)

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