With their first match of the Rugby World Cup a little more than a month away, Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus has decided to rest most of his star players in cotton wool for Saturday’s farewell test match against Argentina in Pretoria. But he challenged those selected to make a resounding statement about the health of South African rugby.
Eighteen of the 23-man squad featured in the Rugby Championship campaign plus five newcomers were included. They are Siya Kolisi, who returns from injury, props Thomas du Toit and Wilco Louw, loose-forwards Marco van Staden and potential debutant, hooker Scarra Ntubeni.
The team will be captained by the experienced hooker, Schalk Brits, who becomes the second oldest Springbok captain at 38 years and three months.
He will start in the green and gold for the first time since 2008.