Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus announced a new-look team, led by veteran hooker Schalk Brits, on Wednesday to take on Argentina in Pretoria this weekend.
Erasmus urged his team to make a strong statement on Saturday when Brits will set a unique new "record" in South African rugby history.
Eighteen of the team featured in the Rugby Championship-winning campaign but also included are five “newcomers” in the returning Siya Kolisi, Thomas du Toit and Wilco Louw (prop), Marco van Staden (loose forward) and potential debutant Scarra Ntubeni (hooker).
Kolisi has been named in the starting XV for a cameo role as he continues his carefully-managed rehabilitation from a knee injury, while the team is captained for the first time by the experienced Brits (hooker), who becomes the second oldest Springbok captain at 38-years-old, and makes his first start in the green and gold since 2008.
The backline that helped overwhelm Australia at Ellis Park a month ago has been reunited with the exception of scrumhalf, where Cobus Reinach gets an opportunity to start; while the pack features a new front row, a strong Bulls locking combination and a first start of the season for Marcell Coetzee alongside Kolisi and Rynhardt Elstadt.
Vice-captain Elton Jantjies will take over the leadership role in the event of Brits being replaced – opening the way for a debut by Ntubeni.
Season sensation Herschel Jantjies was slated to provide scrumhalf cover but he was withdrawn on Tuesday following a blow to his head in training. It is not expected to affect his potential inclusion in the Rugby World Cup squad.
Springbok team: 15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Sbu Nkosi, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 André Esterhuizen, 11 Dillyn Leyds, 10. Elton Jantjies (vice-captain), 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Marcell Coetzee, 7 Rynhardt Elstadt, 6 Siya Kolisi, 5 Lood de Jager, 4 RG Snyman, 3 Vincent Koch, 2 Schalk Brits (captain), 1 Thomas du Toit.
Replacements: 16 Scarra Ntubeni, 17 Lizo Gqoboka, 18 Wilco Louw, 19 Marvin Orie, 20 Marco van Staden, 21 Kwagga Smith, 22 Faf de Klerk, 23 Frans Steyn.
- African News Agency (ANA)