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Etzebeth to skipper Boks as Elstadt and Herschel Jantjies make bows

South Africa will be led by Eben Etzebeth against Australia in their Rugby Championship opener, with two Test debutants in the Springboks’ XV.

Rassie Erasmus’ men are without captain Siya Kolisi for Saturday’s clash in Johannesburg as he recovers from a knee injury, meaning Etzebeth instead skippers the side.

Meanwhile, Rynhardt Elstadt and Herschel Jantjies come into the starting line-up for their bows.

Elstadt joins Pieter-Steph du Toit and Francois Louw in the back row, with Jantjies alongside namesake Elton in a halfback combination.

Lizo Gqoboka, also uncapped and named among the replacements, is in line to make his first appearance for South Africa from the bench.

Erasmus said: “We are excited for the forthcoming year and I want to congratulate Rynhardt, Herschel and Lizo on their first inclusion in a Springbok match-day squad, while the leadership role is not something new for Eben.

“The build-up has been good and there is definitely a very good vibe for match.

“Australia have prepared very well for this match and they have spent two weeks at altitude to acclimatise to the Highveld, so we are in for a great contest.”

Aphiwe Dyantyi’s absence due to a hamstring injury had already been confirmed.

 

South Africa XV to face Australia: Warrick Gelant, Sbu Nkosi, Jesse Kriel, Andre Esterhuizen, Makazole Mapimpi, Elton Jantjies, Herschel Jantjies; Tendai Mtawarira, Bongi Mbonambi, Trevor Nyakane, Eben Etzebeth, Lood de Jager, Rynhardt Elstadt, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Francois Louw.

Replacements: Schalk Brits, Lizo Gqoboka, Vincent Koch, Marvin Orie, Marcell Coetzee, Cobus Reinach, Frans Steyn, Dillyn Leyds.

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