In a rather bizarre move, former Bulls player Gurthro Steenkamp had been rewarded with a 50th test cap – starting ahead of Beast Mtawarira at loosehead prop in the Springbok team named to face Wales in the first test in Durban on Saturday. Steenkamp was poor against the World XV at Newlands last week, conceding numerous scrum penalties in the second half.
Coach Heyneke Meyer has made a few other changes to his side; Frans Steyn’s shock walk-out has opened the door for Jan Serfontein to start at inside centre, while Fourie du Preez comes in at scrumhalf ahead of Ruan Pienaar.
Cornal Hendricks makes a first test start at right wing, while Lood de Jager stands to make his test debut off the bench as well.
South Africa: 15 Willie le Roux, 14 Cornal Hendricks, 13 JP Pietersen, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Morne Steyn, 9 Fourie du Preez, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Willem Alberts, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Victor Matfield (capt), 4 Bakkies Botha, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis (v/capt) 1 Gurthro Steenkamp
Subs: 16 Schalk Brits, 17 Tendai Mtawarira, 18 Coenie Oosthuizen, 19 Lood de Jager, 20 Schalk Burger, 21 Ruan Pienaar, 22 Johan Goosen, 23 Lwazi Mvovo