Springbok lock and captain Eben Etzebeth will lead the Boks out for the first time since 2017 when they face Australia in the opening match of the Rugby Championships at Ellis Park on Saturday.

Taking over in place of injured regular skipper Siya Kolisi, Etzebeth will lead a very experienced team with 488 Test caps combined. Etzebeth says they are looking forward to the challenge.

The last time South Africa hosted Australia at Ellis Park, the Boks romped to a 53-8 victory.

Asked how important getting a good start to the shortened Rugby Championships will be, Etzebeth says they have set their goals and ambitions for the tournament.

Etzebeth will partner up with Lood de Jarger, who returns from injury to collect his 39th Boks cap in the team with a good balance of youth and experience.

Etzebeth believes that there is not much difference between the two teams coach Rassie Erasmus selected to play Australia tomorrow and New Zealand next weekend.

The DHL Stormers and Western Province man, Etzebeth, adds that he is also looking forward to see how debutants scrumhalf Herschel Jantjies, Prop Lizo Gqobhoka and flanker Raynhardt Elstadt fare at the highest level.

Report by Thando Gqamane