Teboho Mohoje caps meteoric rise with first Springboks start

The 24-year-old blindside flank steps into the starting line-up on Saturday for South Africa's Test against Australia in the Rugby Championship.

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Teboho Mohoje will continue a fairy-tale first senior season this Saturday by making his run-on debut for South Africa in the Rugby Championship Test against Australia.

The 24-year-old blindside flank replaces injured Francois Louw in one of two changes to the team that started in a 14-10 defeat by New Zealand this month.

In another injury-enforced change announced Wednesday, scrum-half Francois Hougaard takes over from Ruan Pienaar for the game at Newlands Stadium in Cape Town.

There are four bench alterations with Schalk Burger, Bakkies Botha, Cobus Reinach and JP Pietersen coming in for Warren Whiteley, Lood de Jager, Hougaard and Damian de Allende.

Mohoje will make his first start for the Springboks after coming on as a replacement in a mid-year rout of Scotland in Port Elizabeth.

Despite impressing, he did not get any game-time in the four previous Championship matches this season against Argentina, Australia and New Zealand.

The big ball-carrier was unknown when the South African season kicked off last February only to be called up by injury-ravaged Super Rugby outfit Central Cheetahs.

His line-out, tight and loose play caught the eye of Springboks coach Heyneke Meyer and he has been part of the national squad since June.

A black African, Mohoje gets his chance at a time of increased government pressure on rugby to field teams more representative of the South African population.

Although 80 per cent of South Africans are black Africans, prop Tendai Mtawarira has been their lone representative in many Springboks starting line-ups.

While wings Cornal Hendricks and Bryan Habana are called black abroad, in South Africa they are ‘coloureds’ (mixed race).

Defending champions New Zealand top the table with 16 points, South Africa and Australia have 10 each and Argentina three with two rounds left.

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