Cape Town - Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus is likely to name an unchanged starting XV for Saturday’s Test against Wales in Cardiff.
According to Netwerk24, the inclusion of lock Eben Etzebeth on the bench could be the only change to the 23-man squad from the one that featured against Scotland in Edinburgh last weekend.
Etzebeth missed South Africa's last two Tests against France and Scotland due to a foot injury sustained in their tour-opener against England.
Earlier in the week, Erasmus said he was optimistic that Etzebeth would feature against Wales but it appears as though he the burly lock won’t be risked in the starting XV.
“Last week I said it was a 50/50 (for him to be ready), I’m a little bit more optimistic this week,” Erasmus told reporters in Cardiff.
If Etzebeth is included on the bench, it will be at the expense of Lood de Jager.
It will also be the first time Erasmus has named an unchanged Springbok starting XV since taking over at the beginning of the year.
The Bok team will be confirmed at 16:00 (SA time) on Thursday, with Saturday’s Test scheduled for 19:20 (SA time).
Likely Springbok starting XV: 15 Willie le Roux, 14 S’bu Nkosi, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Aphiwe Dyantyi, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Embrose Papier, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 Franco Mostert, 4 RG Snyman, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Steven Kitshoff
Probable bench: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Thomas du Toit, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 Eben Etzebeth, 20 Francois Louw, 21 Ivan van Zyl, 22 Elton Jantjies, 23 Cheslin Kolbe