Springboks name Pieter-Steph du Toit as captain ahead of Wales duel


South Africa Springboks have named flanker Pieter-Steph du Toit as captain for their one-off Test against Wales at Twickenham this Saturday.

The 2019 and 2023 Rugby World Cup winner was selected over fellow forwards Bongi Mbonambi and Eben Etzebeth for the Springboks’ first match since their World Cup victory in France last October.

Du Toit will be aiming to lead the team to success in London, having previously captained South Africa to a narrow defeat by Wales in a season opener six years ago.

The Test falls outside the international window, preventing France-based regular captain Siya Kolisi from participating. Club commitments, injuries, and a suspension have limited coach Rassie Erasmus to just 10 players from the 2023 World Cup final squad for the Twickenham match.

Of those players, seven are in the starting line-up, with the remaining three on the bench. Erasmus has also introduced four uncapped players, with two set to start the game.

Returning starters from the World Cup final victory over New Zealand include backs Jesse Kriel and Faf de Klerk, and forwards Ox Nche, Etzebeth, Franco Mostert, Kwagga Smith, and Du Toit.

Among the replacements are back Damian de Allende and forwards Mbonambi and Frans Malherbe.

The Springboks are seeking a third consecutive victory over Wales. New caps Edwill van der Merwe and Jordan Hendrikse will start as winger and fly-half, respectively, while back Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu and loose forward Ben-Jason Dixon could debut off the bench.

South Africa is using the Test against Wales to prepare for a highly anticipated two-Test home series against Ireland in July.

The Irish, currently ranked second in the world behind South Africa, were the only team to defeat the Springboks at the 2023 World Cup, winning their pool match 13-8 in Paris.

Springbok Starting 15

Aphelele Fassi; Edwill van der Merwe, Jesse Kriel, Andre Esterhuizen, Makazole Mapimpi; Jordan Hendrikse, Faf de Klerk; Evan Roos, Pieter-Steph du Toit (capt), Kwagga Smith; Franco Mostert, Eben Etzebeth; Vincent Koch, Malcolm Marx, Ox Nche

Replacements: Bongi Mbonambi, Ntuthuko Mchunu, Frans Malherbe, Salmaan Moerat, Ben-Jason Dixon, Grant Williams, Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu, Damian de Allende

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