Three uncapped players have been named in the Springboks’ match-day squad to face Georgia this Friday.
South Africa haven’t played in a test match since they beat England in the 2019 Rugby World Cup final, as they were unable to play for the entirety of 2020 due to the pandemic.
The game against Georgia will be the first under new head coach Jacques Nienaber, who took over from Rassie Erasmus after the World Cup triumph. Erasmus however, is still heavily involved with the team as director of rugby.
🚨 BREAKING! Your Springbok team to face @GeorgianRugby on Friday
🇿🇦 Three uncapped players included next to 18 RWC winners
🗣️ “We have selected the best team with a good balance…”
🔗 Full story: https://t.co/FA88tHUE8C#StrongerTogether #StrongerForever #CastleLionsSeries pic.twitter.com/dH5SppS4Da
— Springboks (@Springboks) June 29, 2021
European-based stars largely absent from match-day squad.
Two debutants will start for the Springboks on Friday – Aphelele Fassi and former sevens star Rosko Specman – while uncapped Leicester Tigers flanker Jasper Wiese has been named on the bench.
World Cup-winning captain Siya Kolisi will again skipper the side, while 2019 World Rugby player of the year Pieter-Steph du Toit is the other flanker named in the starting team.
Overall, the Springboks have put out a strong side to face the Georgians, but the team is not quite the first-choice selection that will face the British and Irish Lions in the test series.
Players who have just recently finished their club seasons in Europe such as Faf de Klerk, Cheslin Kolbe and Damien de Allende have been left out, with most players selected either contracted to South African or Japanese clubs.
Check out the Springboks side to face Georgia below.
15. Willie le Roux
14. Rosko Specman
13. Jesse Kriel
12. Frans Steyn
11. Apelele Fassi
10. Handré Pollard
9. Cobus Reinach
8. Kwagga Smith
7. Pieter-Steph du Toit
6. Siya Kolisi (captain)
5. Franco Mostert
4. Eben Etzebeth
3. Trevor Nyakane
2. Bongi Mbonambi
1. Ox Nché
16. Malcolm Marx, 17. Steven Kitshoff, 18. Frans Malherbe, 19. Marvin Orie, 20. Jasper Wiese, 21. Herschel Jantjies, 22. Elton Jantjies, 23. Damian Willemse.