THREE PLAYERS will make their international debut when the under-strength Springboks open their Tri Nations campaign against the Wallabies in Sydney on Saturday.
Yet for all that, there are still a handful of experienced players in the side.
Uncapped props Dean Greyling and Werner Kruger and loose forward Ashley Johnson have all been named in the starting XV for the match at ANZ Stadium.
Another uncapped player – halfback Charl McLeod – has also been included on the bench.
“The new caps had outstanding Super Rugby seasons and this is an exciting opportunity for them,” says De Villiers.
“We have got some new combinations, but there is a lot of potential in this side and the players are hungry for this chance.”
Although the Boks are ‘resting’ 21 front-line players for the away leg of the Tri Nations, they still have a bit of experience to call on.
The team contains four 2007 Rugby World Cup winners in captain John Smit, second five Wynand Olivier, halfback Ruan Pienaar, flanker Dannie Rossouw and lock Johann Muller.
While the front-row has a green look to it, with 102-test veteran Smit sandwiched between two very inexperienced props, the back three of Gio Aplon, Bjorn Basson and Lwazi Mvovo is fast and has the potential to cause problems for the Wallabies side coming off a shock 32-23 loss to Samoa.
And with Morné Steyn at pivot, Australia will also need to be careful about conceding penalties within their own half, as the Bulls man can nail them from all over the park.
The Wallabies struggled with the physicality of Pacific islanders last week and will need to lift its game in this department, especially with Flip van der Merwe, Johann Muller and Danie Rossouw in the pack.
Tearaway flanker Heinrich Brüssow was not considered as he continues his rehabilitation from a knee injury.
Springboks: Gio Aplon, Bjorn Basson, Juan De Jongh, Wynand Olivier, Lwazi Mvovo, Morné Steyn, Ruan Pienaar, Ashley Johnson, Danie Rossouw, Deon Stegmann, Johann Muller, Flip van der Merwe, Werner Kruger, John Smit (c), Dean Greyling
Reserves: Chiliboy Ralepelle, CJ van der Linde, Alistair Hargreaves, Jean Deysel, Charl McLeod, Adrian Jacobs, Patrick Lambie.
There are plenty of mouth-watering clashes on offer this weekend.
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