Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber named two uncapped players in his starting lineup and a further four among the replacements as he reshuffled his squad to build depth for their second Test against Wales in the Castle Lager Incoming Series at the Toyota Stadium in Bloemfontein on Saturday.
Two players who have been in hot form recently, Kurt-Lee Arendse (outside back) and Evan Roos (No 8), have been handed starts, while Ntuthuko Mchunu (prop), Ruan Nortje (lock), Deon Fourie (utility forward) and Grant Williams (scrumhalf) could make their debuts off the bench.
Three players in the match-23 retained their places in the squad from last week’s 32-29 victory in the opening Test against Wales, namely experienced lock Eben Etzebeth, who will earns his 99th cap for South Africa on Saturday, while prop Vincent Koch and utility back Damian Willemse have been included on the bench.
Furthermore, experienced flyhalf Handre Pollard, who returns to the squad after not featuring in the first Test, will take over the captaincy from Siya Kolisi this week.
Nienaber stressed that while building winning momentum was vital as the international season picks up steam, one of the key facets for the team was building depth, especially with an eye on next year’s Rugby World Cup.
Springboks – 15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Kurt-Lee Arendse, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Aphelele Fassi, 10 Handre Pollard (c), 9 Jaden Hendrikse, 8 Evan Roos, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Marcell Coetzee, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Joseph Dweba, 1 Thomas du Toit.
Subs: 16 Malcolm Marx, 17 Ntuthuko Mchunu, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 Ruan Nortje, 20 Rynhardt Elstadt, 21 Deon Fourie, 22 Grant Williams, 23 Damian Willemse.