South Africa name seven debutants to face Wales

Wales v South Africa
Venue: RFK Stadium, Washington DC Date: Saturday, 2 June Kick-off: 22:00 BST
Coverage: Live scores and commentary on the BBC Sport website and app, Live commentary on Radio Wales AM and Radio Cymru

South Africa have named seven debutants in their starting XV to play Wales in Washington, USA, on Saturday 2 June.

Travis Ismaiel, Makazole Mapimpi, Andre Esterhuizen, Ivan van Zyl, Kwagga Smith, Jason Jenkins and Ox Nche will win their first caps.

Lock Pieter-Steph du Toit captains a starting Springbok team that has an average age of 24, containing 134 caps.

Six of the replacements will also play their first Test for South Africa if they come on.

Akker van der Merwe (hooker), Thomas du Toit (prop), Marvin Orie (lock), Sikhumbuzo Notshe (back row), Embrose Papier (scrum-half) and Robert du Preez (fly-half) are named on the bench.

Flanker Smith is an Olympic sevens bronze medallist, while former Cheetahs wing Mapimpi was the top try scorer in the Guinness Pro14 before leaving for the Sharks halfway through the season.

The most inexperienced Springboks side to face Wales was in November 1994 following South Africa’s re-entry into international rugby after the apartheid era, when the starting XV had just 107 caps.

Wales were the defending Five Nations champions but lost 20-12 in Cardiff to a side whose core of players would see South Africa win the 1995 World Cup.

South Africa coach Rassie Erasmus said: “As coaches, we are tremendously excited about the prospect of seeing some of our best young players getting the opportunity to play at this level.

“Wales have a very solid and effective kicking strategy and their cohesive forward and set-piece play are some of their main strong points. However, I do believe that we have picked a match-day squad that will be able to compete very strongly.”

South Africa team to face Wales: Curwin Bosch (Cell C Sharks); Travis Ismaiel (Vodacom Bulls, uncapped), Jesse Kriel (Vodacom Bulls), Andre Esterhuizen (Cell C Sharks, uncapped), Makazole Mapimpi (Cell C Sharks, uncapped); Elton Jantjies (Emirates Lions), Ivan van Zyl (Vodacom Bulls, uncapped); Ox Nche (prop, Toyota Cheetahs, uncapped), Chiliboy Ralepelle (Cell C Sharks), Wilco Louw (DHL Stormers), Jason Jenkins (Vodacom Bulls, uncapped), Pieter-Steph du Toit (capt, DHL Stormers), Kwagga Smith (Emirates Lions, uncapped), Oupa Mohoje (Toyota Cheetahs), Dan du Preez (Cell C Sharks).

Replacements: Akker van der Merwe (Cell C Sharks, uncapped), Steven Kitshoff (DHL Stormers), Thomas du Toit (Cell C Sharks, uncapped), Marvin Orie (Emirates Lions, uncapped), Sikhumbuzo Notshe (DHL Stormers, uncapped), Embrose Papier (Vodacom Bulls, uncapped), Robert du Preez (Cell C Sharks, uncapped), Warrick Gelant (Vodacom Bulls).

Referee: Matthew Carley (RFU).

Assistant referees: Alexandre Ruiz (FR) and Frank Murphy (IRE).

TMO: David Grashoff (RFU).

Share if you enjoyed this post!

Source link