Seven uncapped players have been named in the Springboks’ starting lineup for Saturday’s Test against Wales in Washington.
A number of first-choice players have remained in South Africa to prepare for the three-Test series against England, while a new-look side will do duty against Wales in the season-opener.
In the run-on XV, Travis Ismaiel, André Esterhuizen, Makazole Mapimpi, Ivan van Zyl, Kwagga Smith, Jason Jenkins and Ox Nche are all set to make their Bok debuts, while Akker van der Merwe, Thomas du Toit, Marvin Orie, Sikhumbuzo Notshe, Embrose Papier and Rob du Preez could make their first Test appearances off the bench.
However, Rassie Erasmus has also opted for an experienced core of players – Jesse Kriel (centre), Elton Jantjies (flyhalf), Oupa Mohoje (flank), Pieter-Steph du Toit (lock) and Chiliboy Ralepelle (hooker).
‘As coaches, we are tremendously excited about the prospect of seeing some of our best young players getting the opportunity to play at this level,’ said Erasmus.
‘Wales have a very solid and effective kicking strategy and their cohesive forward and set-piece play are some of their main strong points. However, I do believe that we have picked a match-day squad that will be able to compete very strongly.’
Springboks – 15 Curwin Bosch, 14 Travis Ismaiel, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 André Esterhuizen, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Ivan van Zyl, 8 Dan du Preez, 7 Oupa Mohojé, 6 Kwagga Smith, 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit (c), 4 Jason Jenkins, 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 1 Ox Nche.
Subs: 16 Akker van der Merwe, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Thomas du Toit, 19 Marvin Orie, 20 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 21 Embrose Papier, 22 Rob du Preez, 23 Warrick Gelant.
Photo: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix