JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africa included three uncapped players as they overhauled their line-up for Saturday’s first test against England after their second-string selection lost to Wales in the United States last weekend.
Wingers Aphiwe Dyantyi and S’busiso Nkosi and lock RG Snyman will win their first caps after being named on Thursday by coach Rassie Erasmus for the clash at Ellis Park in Johannesburg, the first of three tests against the tourists.
None of the players who featured in last Saturday’s 22-20 loss to Wales in Washington have been included in the line-up against England, although prop Wilco Louw is on standby should Trevor Nyakane not recover in time from a rib injury.
The starting XV for the Ellis Park clash were all spared the rigours of the long distance travel to Washington and back.
English-based scrumhalf Faf de Klerk will be returning along with fullback Willie le Roux. Prop Tendai Mtawarira will win his 99th cap. De Klerk and Le Roux last played test rugby in 2016.
Saturday’s team is captained by Siya Kolisi, the first black player to skipper the Boks.
“We have some good experienced players while there are some really exciting young men who have earned their opportunity to play for the Springboks,” Erasmus told a news conference.
“I’m especially pleased for the three newcomers, and I’m looking forward to see how they will perform in tough test match conditions against a formidable opponent.
“England are a top-class, quality side and they will no doubt be very determined to be successful in this series, and with us desperate for success as well it means that the supporters can expect a really good test match on Saturday,” he added.
15-Willie le Roux, 14-S’busiso Nkosi, 13-Lukhanyo Am, 12-Damian de Allende, 11-Aphiwe Dyantyi, 10-Handre Pollard, 9-Faf de Klerk, 8-Duane Vermeulen, 7-Jean-Luc du Preez, 6-Siya Kolisi (captain), 5-Franco Mostert, 4-RG Snyman, 3-Trevor Nyakane, 2-Bongi Mbonambi, 1-Tendai Mtawarira
Replacements: 16-Akker van der Merwe, 17-Steven Kitshoff, 18-Wilco Louw, 19-Pieter-Steph du Toit, 20-Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 21-Ivan van Zyl, 22-Elton Jantjies, 23-Warrick Gelant
Reporting by Mark Gleeson in Cape Town; Editing by Pritha Sarkar