BIRMINGHAM, England (AP) -- South Africa has dropped eight players from its starting 15 for the Rugby World Cup game against Samoa following a stunning loss to Japan.
Under pressure from one of the biggest upsets in tournament history, coach Heyneke Meyer picked a new scrumhalf-flyhalf combination in Fourie du Preez and Handre Pollard, recalled No. 8 Duane Vermeulen for his first test this year, and dropped hooker Bismarck du Plessis for Adriaan Strauss.
Fullback Zane Kirchner, wing Lwazi Mvovo and center Jesse Kriel were also dropped. Willie le Roux, JP Pietersen and Damian de Allende start against Samoa in their places.
Captain Jean de Villiers was shifted to outside center to make way for De Allende and Schalk Burger moves from No. 8 to flanker for Vermeulen's inclusion.
Lock Eben Etzebeth also returns to the staring 15.