Boks name side to face England
S'busiso Nkosi, Aphiwe Dyantyi and RG Snyman will make their Springbok debuts on Saturday when South Africa face England in Johannesburg.
The exciting wing pair and imposing young lock were included in a revamped Springbok team for the clash at Ellis Park. The Boks will also be skippered by a new captain in Siya Kolisi.
Saturday’s starting team is a completely revamped combination from the side that lost by a narrow margin to Wales last Saturday in Washington, with only Wilco Louw possibly starting again if Trevor Nyakane is not cleared to play.
Nyakane, who is nursing a rib injury, has been bracketed with Louw and will be given until Friday when a call on his inclusion will be made.
Experienced full-back Willie le Roux and lively scrum-half Faf de Klerk were included in the starting team, while Duane Vermeulen has been named at eight. Le Roux, who like De Klerk last played for the Springboks in 2016, provides valuable experience to a new-look back trio with Nkosi and Dyantyi.
De Klerk, who had an outstanding season with Premiership side Sale Sharks, partners Handré Pollard at half-back, while Vermeulen teams up with Jean-Luc du Preez and captain Kolisi in the loose forward combination.
The uncapped Snyman has been a steady force for the Bulls this year and he deservedly earns his first Springbok cap as lock partner to the industrious Franco Mostert, while Pieter-Steph du Toit will play off the bench.
Tendai Mtawarira (prop) is now just one Test away from a century of Springbok caps after he was named to start next to Bongi Mbonambi in the front row.
SA Rugby’s Director of Rugby, Rassie Erasmus, said the Springbok match 23 is an exciting combination.
“We have some good experienced players while there are some really exciting young men who have earned their opportunity to play for the Springboks,” said Erasmus.
“I am especially pleased for the three newcomers, Aphiwe, Sbu and RG, and I am looking forward to see how they will perform in tough Test match conditions against a formidable opponent.”
According to Erasmus his side know what to expect from England, whom he described as a very well-drilled team under the leadership of Eddie Jones.
“England are a top-class, quality side and they will do 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 Saturday,” said Erasmus.
“We have prepared as well as we could and the players are looking forward to playing in front of our passionate supporters in Johannesburg.”
South Africa: 15 Willie le Roux, 14 S’busiso Nkosi, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Aphiwe Dyantyi, 10 Handré Pollard, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Jean-Luc du Preez, 6 Siya Kolisi (c), 5 Franco Mostert, 4 RG Snyman, 3 Trevor Nyakane/Wilco Louw, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Tendai Mtawarira
Replacements: 16 Akker van der Merwe, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Wilco Louw/Thomas du Toit, 19 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 20 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 21 Ivan van Zyl, 22 Elton Jantjies, 23 Warrick Gelant
Date: Saturday, June 9
Venue: Ellis Park, Johannesburg
Kick-off: 17:05 local (16:05 BST, 15:05 GMT)
Referee: Ben O’Keeffe (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Romain Poite (France), Glen Jackson (New Zealand)
Television match official: Simon McDowell (Ireland)
- Five changes for Springboks
- Boks beat England to win series
- Tendai Mtawarira to hit 100 caps
- Blitzboks retain series title after Paris Sevens triumph
- Trevor Nyakane withdraws from Springbok squad
- Boks fight back to stun England
- Boks fall to Wales in Washington
- Du Toit captains new-look Boks
- Season over for Smit
- Siya Kolisi to lead Boks against England