Three newcomers, 18 WC winners in Springbok 23 to face Georgia

Three newcomers, 18 WC winners in Springbok 23 to face Georgia

There are 18 World Cup winners in the Springboks match-23 to play Georgia in the first of two tests at Loftus on Friday.

Two newcomers with a third likely to make his Springbok debut is what Bok coach Jacques Nienaber came up with for the first test against Georgia at Loftus on Friday, with two capped non-WC Boks also selected.

Aphelele Fassi, normally a fullback, was named to start at left wing after Makazole Mapimpi was forced to self-isolate as one of the close contacts to the three Springboks that tested positive last weekend. Blitzboks speedster and gamebreaker from the Cheetahs gets his first cap on the other wing.

The fact that World Cup winger Sbu Nkosi is one of the three players now in isolation after testing positive for Covid-19 on the weekend probably earns Fassie his first cap out of his favourite position.

Nkosi, Saracens prop Vincent Koch and Stormers scrumhalf Herschel Jantjies tested positive for Covid-19, forcing Sunday's training session to be cancelled and the team to self-isolate.

Jasper Wiese, who according to overseas critics was outstanding at No. 8 for Leicester Tigers and could make his way onto the field as the third new cap, is a third newcomer.

Kwagga Smith, a World Cup Bok, has been selected at No 8 in place of Duane Vermeulen, who is injured.  He owes his inclusion to some outstanding performances in Japan.

▲ The five non-World Cup players are of course Specman, Fassie and Wiese. The Sharks prop Ox Nché and Stormers lock Marvin Orie, both capped before, make up the match complement of 23.

Teams –

South Africa
15 Willie le Roux, 14 Rosko Specman, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Frans Steyn, 11 Aphelele Fassi, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Kwagga Smith, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Ox Nché. Replacements: 16 Malcolm Marx, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Frans Malherbe, 19 Marvin Orie, 20 Jasper Wiese, 21 Herschel Jantjies, 22 Elton Jantjies, 23 Damian Willemse