Pieter-Steph Du Toit will captain a young and inexperienced, yet exciting Springbok outfit against Wales in Washington this Saturday. The starting lineup includes seven uncapped players, while a further six uncapped players are expected to debut from the bench.
Erasmus has however picked a strong core group of experience to balance the youthfulness and inexperience of his other selections. Among Pieter-Steph Du Toit at lock are Jesse Kriel (centre), Elton Jantjies (flyhalf), Oupa Mohoje (flank), Du Toit (lock) and Chiliboy Ralepelle (hooker).
The seven new caps in the run on XV are Travis Ismaiel and Makazole Mapimpi (wings), Andre Esterhuizen (centre), Ivan van Zyl (scrumhalf), Kwagga Smith (flank), Jason Jenkins (lock) and Ox Nche (prop). While the 6 uncapped bench players include Akker van der Merwe (hooker), Thomas du Toit (prop), Marvin Orie (lock), Sikhumbuzo Notshe (loose forward), Embrose Papier (scrumhalf) and Robert du Preez (flyhalf).
Leaving 17 players behind to begin preparations for the England series, Erasmus has stayed true to blooding youth and picking form players regardless of their experience, for the Welsh test.
“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,” said Erasmus.
While Wales have been dominant in their last two encounters with the Springboks during the Autumn internationals of 2016 and 2017, Erasmus is confident in his side. “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,” added Erasmus.
Starting XV: 15 Curwin Bosch, 14 Travis Ismaiel, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Ivan van Zyl, 8 Dan du Preez, 7 Oupa Mohoje, 6 Kwagga Smith, 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit (captain), 4 Jason Jenkins, 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 1 Ox Nche
Substitutes: 16 Akker van der Merwe, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Thomas du Toit, 19 Marvin Orie, 20 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 21 Embrose Papier, 22 Robert du Preez, 23 Warrick Gelant
*The three non-playing reserves are Frans Malherbe, Nizaam Carr and Cameron Wright