Eben Etzebeth, Juandre Kruger & Marcell Coetzee get first caps

Eben Etzebeth
Eben Etzebeth wins first cap

South Africa coach Heyneke Meyer has selected three uncapped players in his starting line-up for Saturday's first Test against England in Durban.

He has given first games to the lock pairing of Eben Etzebeth and Juandre Kruger, as well as handing Sharks flanker Marcell Coetzee his debut.

Prop Coenie Oosthuizen could make his first appearance off the bench.

"It is quite a new thing in South African rugby to have two uncapped locks starting," Meyer said.

"It is a huge step up but I am confident in them.

"Although the team is quite young, we still have some experience across the starting 15.

"The balance in the team is right in the way we want to play against England, and we're looking forward to the first Test."

Meyer has appointed Jean de Villiers captain for the three-Test series.

England have not beaten the Springboks in South Africa since a 27-22 victory in Bloemfontein in 2000.

They face a South Africa team that is playing their first Test under coach Meyer and has only had five days of training for the match.

But the starting 15 still boasts a combined total of 458 Test caps and contains nine of the players that featured in last year's World Cup quarter-final against Australia.

South Africa team: Zane Kirchner, JP Pietersen, Jean de Villiers (c), Frans Steyn, Bryan Habana, Morne Steyn, Francois Hougaard, Tendai Mtawarira, Bismarck du Plessis, Jannie du Plessis, Eben Etzebeth, Juandre Kruger, Marcell Coetzee, Willem Alberts, Pierre Spies.

Top Stories