Springboks give fringe players a chance in 2nd test vs Wales
BLOEMFONTEIN, South Africa (AP) — South Africa made 14 changes to its starting lineup and selected No. 8 Evan Roos and wing Kurt-Lee Arendse on Tuesday to make their debuts in the second test against Wales.
Lock Eben Etzebeth is the only player retained in the starting 15 from the first test, which the Springboks edged 32-29 with a penalty after the fulltime hooter. Etzebeth will play his 99th test for the Boks on Saturday in Bloemfontein.
Handré Pollard returns to start at flyhalf after missing the series opener and also takes over the captaincy with Siya Kolisi rested and out of the 23.
Former world player of the year Pieter-Steph du Toit is back from injury to start at No. 7 and Marcell Coetzee is recalled for his first test since 2019 on the other flank.
Jaden Hendrikse is at scrumhalf and there’s an entirely new backline with Pollard, centers Andre Esterhuizen and Jesse Kriel, wings Aphelele Fassi and Arendse, and fullback Warrick Gelant.
There are also four uncapped players on the bench after coach Jacques Nienaber decided to give many fringe players and up and coming youngsters a chance. The new caps are prop Ntuthuko Mchunu, lock Ruan Nortje, loose forward Deon Fourie and scrumhalf Grant Williams.
Damian Willemse, who saved the world champions with his kick to win the first test in Pretoria, is also among the reserves.
South Africa: Warrick Gelant, Kurt-Lee Arendse, Jesse Kriel, Andre Esterhuizen, Aphelele Fassi, Handré Pollard (captain), Jaden Hendrikse; Evan Roos, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Marcell Coetzee, Marvin Orie, Eben Etzebeth, Trevor Nyakane, Joseph Dweba, Thomas du Toit. Reserves: Malcolm Marx, Ntuthuko Mchunu, Vincent Koch, Ruan Nortje, Rynhardt Elstadt, Deon Fourie, Grant Williams, Damian Willemse.
More AP rugby: https://apnews.com/hub/rugby and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports