Three to debut for Springboks
Dean Greyling (Getty Images)
Sydney - South Africa, who travelled to Australia without 21 Test regulars, have included three uncapped players in their team for Saturday's Tri-Nations opener against the Wallabies.
The Springboks will award Test debuts to props Dean Greyling and Werner Kruger as well as number eight Ashley Johnson on Saturday at Sydney's Olympic stadium.
While both sides will hope to avoid injuries on Saturday, they also recognise the importance of building momentum ahead of the September 9 to October 23 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.
"The new caps had outstanding Super rugby seasons and this is an exciting opportunity for them," coach Peter de Villiers said in a news release.
"We have got some new combinations, but there is a lot of potential in this side and the players are hungry for this chance."
Captain John Smit will win his 103rd cap at hooker alongside four other members of the squad that won the last World Cup - centre Wynand Olivier, scrumhalf Ruan Pienaar, flank Danie Rossouw and lock Johan Muller.
Morne Steyn has been selected at flyhalf in preference to young gun Patrick Lambie, who starts on the bench, while the Wallabies will have to be on the alert for flying wingers Bjorn Basson and Lwazi Mvovo.
Openside flank Heinrich Brussow was unavailable because of a knee injury but he is at least part of the travelling squad.
Key players like scrumhalf Fourie du Preez, centres Jaque Fourie and Jean de Villiers, flank Juan Smith, locks Victor Matfield and Bakkies Botha, and props Gurthro Steenkamp and Tendai Mtawariria all missed the tour through injury.
"Those guys back home would love to be here and if these guys do well, it will put more pressure on them," De Villiers told a news conference.
Springboks: 15 Gio Aplon, 14 Bjorn Basson, 13 Juan de Jongh, 12 Wynand Olivier, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Morne Steyn, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Ashley Johnson, 7 Danie Rossouw, 6 Deon Stegmann, 5 Johann Muller, 4 Flip van der Merwe, 3 Werner Kruger, 2 John Smit, 1 Dean Greyling
Substitutes: 16 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 17 CJ van der Linde, 18 Alistair Hargreaves, 19 Jean Deysel, 20 Charl McLeod, 21 Adrian Jacobs, 22 Patrick Lambie
Wallabies: 15 Kurtley Beale, 14 James O'Connor, 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 12 Pat
McCabe, 11 Digby Ioane, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Will Genia, 8 Ben McCalman,
7 David Pocock, 6 Rocky Elsom, 5 James Horwill, 4 Rob Simmons, 3 Ben
Alexander, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 Sekope Kepu
Substitutes: 16 Saia
Faingaa, 17 Pek Cowan, 18 Nathan Sharpe, 19 Matt Hodgson, 20 Scott
Higginbotham, 21 Nick Phipps, 22 Anthony Faingaa