Nienaber 'comfortable with risk' of 7/1 party trick against Ireland on World Cup stage
Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber is comfortable with the risk that came with picking a seven-one bench split for Saturday's crunch Pool B encounter against Ireland at Saint-Denis' Stade de France.
Nienaber opted for seven forwards on the bench, with scrumhalf Cobus Reinach as the only back on the bench, while experienced players like Duane Vermeulen and Willie le Roux were left out of the match-day 23 altogether.
The Springboks had trialled the seven-one split against New Zealand at Twickenham on 25 August due to Le Roux's injury to great success with a 35-7 win.
READ | 7/1 is back! Springboks shock with seven forwards on bench for crunch Ireland World Cup clash
Reinach, who was the sole backline reserve in that game, was picked in the same position, with Kwagga Smith, a former Sevens player, being one of the forwards who can be deployed in the backline in the event he's needed there.
However, a pre-World Cup friendly, regardless of the opposition, is different from a pressure-cooker World Cup game that will determine who qualifies first out of what is a difficult pool.
Nienaber didn't want to delve into who will play where in the event of a substitution or injury, but said their versatility allows them to venture in that direction.
With Bongi Mbonambi starting at hooker, Deon Fourie and Marco van Staden were named on the bench as hooker cover.
15 Damian Willemse, 14 Kurt-Lee Arendse, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Cheslin Kolbe, 10 Manie Libbok, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Jasper Wiese, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Steven Kitshoff
Substitutes: 16 Deon Fourie, 17 Ox Nche, 18 Trevor Nyakane, 19, Jean