Jacques Nienaber has followed Warren Gatland ’s lead by making just three changes to his South Africa team ahead of Saturday’s second Test against the British and Irish Lions.

Unlike his Lions counterpart, however, Springboks head coach Nienaber has restricted his changes to the forward pack.

Steven Kitshoff and Frans Malherbe will start at loosehead and tighthead prop, respectively, while Jasper Wiese will make his full Test debut as a No. 8 replacement for Kwagga Smith.

Leicester Tigers star Wiese earned his first Springboks cap as a substitute against Georgia on July 2, but he’ll now make a first international start under pressurised conditions at Cape Town Stadium.

Leicester No. 8 Jasper Wiese
Leicester No. 8 Jasper Wiese will make his full international debut against the Lions

The hosts trail in the series after they suffered a 22-17 loss to the Lions in the opening Test, where they crumbled in the second half having gone in with a 12-3 lead at the break.

Handre Pollard scored four penalties in the opening 30 minutes to put South Africa in the ascendancy, and the fly-half has been retained as the Boks hope to pull level.

He’ll maintain his half-back partnership with No. 9 Faf de Klerk, who scored South Africa’s sole try during the opening-Test defeat.

Handre Pollard battles Anthony Watson for possession
Handre Pollard was one of South Africa's brightest players in the first Test

In fact, Nienaber has named an identical backline to take on their British guests, with Herschel Jantjies and Damian Willemse the only back replacements named among his bench.

Stormers prop Kitshoff, 29, will earn his 50th Test cap as a replacement for the injured Ox Nche, but Nienaber underlined the importance of Saturday’s fixture for his entire squad.

“This is a massive game for us; it is do or die in order to stay in the race to win the series and we selected a team that offers continuity in selection, but also that we thought would be the best suited to achieve the objectives we have set for this match,” the Springboks coach said.

“Ox (Nche) did well in the scrums last week and has been ruled out due to injury, but fortunately we have a world class player in Steven who can step into the starting team. The fact that this will mark his 50th Test will make this occasion even more important for him.”

South Africa and the Lions clashing in the first Test
South Africa enter the second Test against the Lions desperate for a win

Nienaber added his side must “be better in every area of the game” if they’re to prevent—or at least delay—the Lions in collecting their first South Africa tour triumph since 1997.

Gatland confirmed his team for the second Test earlier on Tuesday, with Chris Harris replacing Elliot Daly at outside centre and Conor Murray starting at scrum-half instead of Ali Price.

Mako Vunipola has also come in at loosehead prop at the expense of Rory Sutherland, with the former having enjoyed great success scrummaging when he came on last Saturday.

Mako Vunipola in Lions training
Mako Vunipola is a major threat to South Africa's scrum

The Lions coach has come in for criticism, however, after Dan Biggar was named at fly-half despite having yet to pass return-to-play protocols following a head injury last weekend.

The tourists have won the series on each of the previous four occasions in which they’ve beaten South Africa in their first Test outing, and another victory on Saturday will seal their success with one game to spare.

South Africa XV to face Lions in second Test: (Forwards) Kitshoff, Mbonambi, Malherbe, Etzebeth, Mostert, Kolisi, Du Toit, Wiese; (Backs) De Klerk, Pollard, Mapimpi, De Allende, Am, Kolbe, Le Roux.