NORTH AND CO PRE­PARE TO FACE ROOKIE SPRING­BOKS

Western Mail - - FRONT PAGE - BEN JAMES Rugby writer ben.james@waleson­line.co.uk

WALES will face a rookie South Africa side in their Test match in Wash­ing­ton on Satur­day after South Africa named 13 un­capped play­ers in their match­day squad – seven in the atart­ing XV

The in­ex­pe­ri­enced team will be cap­tained by lock Pi­eter-Steph du Toit in former Mun­ster Di­rec­tor of Rugby Rassie Eras­mus’ first game as Spring­boks coach.

Wings Travis Is­maiel and Maka­zole Mapimpi, cen­tre An­dre Ester­huizen, scrum-half Ivan van Zyl, flanker Kwagga Smith, sec­ond-row Jason Jenk­ins and prop Ox Nche will all be mak­ing their de­buts this week­end against War­ren Gat­land’s side.

A fur­ther six play­ers with no Test ex­pe­ri­ence have been in­cluded on the bench, with hooker Akker van der Merwe, prop Thomas du Toit, lock Marvin Orie, back-rower Sikhumbuzo Not­she, scrum-half Em­brose Papier and fly-half Robert du Preez all likely to make their first ap­pear­ances in a green jer­sey.

It was al­ready known that South Africa would not be bring­ing many of their big hit­ters, with the likes of Wil­lie le Roux, Fran­cois Steyn, Tendai Mtawarira and Duane Ver­meulen among 17 star names left be­hind to pre­pare for the three-Test series against Eng­land.

In fact, this new-look Spring­bok side has a to­tal of just 159 caps be­tween them, with the ma­jor­ity of the ex­pe­ri­ence in this South African side com­ing from first-time skip­per du Toit, fly-half El­ton Jan­tjies and cen­tre Jesse Kriel.

Speak­ing about his first se­lec­tion as coach, 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 (Sharks); Travis Is­maiel (Bulls), Jesse Kriel (Bulls), An­dre Ester­huizen (Sharks), Maka­zole Mapimpi (Sharks); El­ton Jan­tjies (Lions), Ivan van Zyl (Bulls); Ox Nche (Chee­tahs), Chilli­boy Rale­pelle (Sharks), Wilco Louw (Storm­ers), Jason Jenk­ins (Bulls), Pi­eter-Steph du Toit (Storm­ers, capt), Kwagga Smith (Lions), Oupa Mo­hoje (Chee­tahs), Dan du Preez (Sharks)Reps: Akker van der Merwe (Sharks), Steven Kit­shoff (Storm­ers), Thomas du Toit (Sharks), Marvin Orie (Lions), Sikhumbuzo Not­she (Storm­ers), Em­brose Papier (Bulls), Robert du Preez (Sharks), War­rick Ge­lant (Bulls).

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> El­ton Jan­tjies

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