PdV ‘rewards form’

The Springboks have named four uncapped players in their match 22 to face Australia in Sydney .

There are debuts for props Werner Kruger and Dean Greyling, as well as flank Ashley Johnson, who all start, while scrumhalf Charl McLeod could get his first cap off the bench.

Openside flank Heinrich Brüssow has failed to recover sufficiently from injury to be considered, but Johann Muller has, and starts in the second row. CJ van der Linde, who Springbok coach last week said was a serious injury concern, plays off the wood.

The versatile Danie Rossouw is deployed at blindside flank in a back row that features Johnson and Bulls fetcher Deon Stegmann. In the back division Ruan Pienaar and Morné Steyn run on as the halfback pair, with Wynand Olivier and Juan de Jongh in midfield.

The back three features players with pace to burn in the form of Gio Aplon, Bjorn Basson and Lwazi Mvovo.

Springbok coach Peter de Villiers said: ‘The new caps had outstanding Super Rugby seasons and this is an exciting opportunity for them. They have been rewarded for their form and now it’s up to them. We have got some new combinations, but there is a lot of potential in this side and the players are hungry for this chance.’

The inexperience of the pack is a concern, in particular the two rookie props. However, captain John Smit expressed his utmost confidence in them.

‘They’ll be nervous and I’m pretty sure Australia will want to have a crack at them as well up front,’ he said. “I’m sure they’ll understand that but the boys have stepped up every week in Super 15 so I can’t see it being any different in a Test match.’

The players in the squad to miss out on selections are: Brüssow, Elton Jantjies, Ryan Kankowski, Odwa Ndungane, Coenie Oosthuizen and Adriaan Strauss.

South Africa: 15 Gio Aplon, 14 Bjorn Basson, 13 Juan de Jongh, 12 Wynand Olivier, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Morné 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 (c), 1 Dean Greyling.
Subs: 16 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 17 CJ van der Linde, 18 Alistair Hargreaves, 19 Jean Deysel, 20 Charl McLeod, 21 Adi Jacobs, 22 Pat Lambie.