Springboks flyhalf Handre Pollard will play his first Test since August 2022 and flanker Marco van Staden will wear the No 16 jersey as replacement hooker for the first time when they meet Tonga in Marseille on Sunday.
Springboks coach Jacques Nienaber has made 12 changes to the starting team from the one which lost to Ireland last Saturday, retaining captain Siya Kolisi who will make his 50th appearance as captain, lock Eben Etzebeth and eighth man, Jasper Wiese for the must-win clash.
Up-front, Deon Fourie will earn his first start in the Springboks’ jersey at hooker in a front row with props, Ox Nche and Vincent Koch, while Etzebeth and Marvin Orie will support them in the second row.
The only change made among the loose forwards was at flank, where regular No 8 Duane Vermeulen will wear the No 7 jersey in a formidable combination with Kolisi and Wiese.
The outcome of this match will be crucial in determining which two teams from Pool B advance to the quarterfinals, and who they will play in the top-eight playoff.