Herschel Jantjies, Rynhardt Elstadt handed Springbok debuts against Wallabies
Herschel Jantjies and Rynhardt Elstadt will make their Test debuts when they line up for the Springboks against the Wallabies in the Rugby Championship opener on Saturday.
And they could be joined by prop Lizo Gqoboka, who is among the substitutes.
Coach Rassie Erasmus, as he has suggested previously, picked a mix-and-match team for the Ellis Park clash (5.05pm kickoff), with experienced internationals such as captain Eben Etzebeth, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Jesse Kriel and Tendai Mtawarira paired with newcomers such as Jantjies and Elstadt.
Former Stormers and WP loose forward Elstadt – who plays for Toulouse in France – operated mainly as a blindside flank and four lock in the Cape, but will now feature as an opensider against Australia.
Jantjies has been outstanding for the Stormers in Super Rugby this year, and will want to impress alongside namesake Elton Jantjies to secure a World Cup berth.
Eben Etzebeth will lead the Boks for a 12th time in the absence of the injured Siya Kolisi, and he will be partnered at lock by Lood de Jager, who needs all the game time he can get following a long injury layoff.
Overseas-based players such as Marcell Coetzee, Cobus Reinach and Frans Steyn are back in the mix on the bench after lengthy absences, while Dillyn Leyds has been rewarded for his Stormers form with a back-up role.
Erasmus explained this week that a number of his first-choice players will travel to
“The squad have trained together for more than three weeks and this match is important for us to start a very important rugby year,” Erasmus said in a statement on Wednesday.
“We want to win the Rugby Championship and we have a specific plan, which starts Saturday with the first Test against the Wallabies.
“We have planned to mix things up in the first two Tests of the season, in order to give game time to as many of the players in our wider squad, and we believe this is the right combination to face a very good and competitive Australian side.
“We are excited for the forthcoming year and I want to congratulate Rynhardt, Herschel and Lizo on their first inclusion in a Springbok match-day squad, while the leadership role is not something new for Eben.
“The build-up has been good and there is definitely a very good vibe for match.
“Australia have prepared very well for this match and they have spent two weeks at altitude to acclimatise to the Highveld, so we are in for a great contest.”
BREAKING: Springbok team for Wallaby Test announced. 🇿🇦— Springboks (@Springboks) July 17, 2019
🏉 New captain and three uncapped players to face Australia.
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More to follow…
15 Warrick Gelant 14 Sbu Nkosi 13 Jesse Kriel 12 André Esterhuizen 11 Makazole Mapimpi 10 Elton Jantjies 9 Herschel Jantjies 8 Francois Louw 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit 6 Rynhardt Elstadt 5 Lood de Jager 4 Eben Etzebeth (captain) 3 Trevor Nyakane 2 Bongi Mbonambi 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Bench: 16 Schalk Brits 17 Lizo Gqoboka 18 Vincent Koch 19 Marvin Orie 20 Marcell Coetzee 21 Cobus Reinach 22 Frans Steyn 23 Dillyn Leyds.@ashfakmohamed