Rassie Erasmus names seven uncapped players for South Africa XV to face Wales

South Africa coach Rassie Erasmus has named a team containing seven uncapped players for Saturday’s Test match against Wales in Washington DC.

Lock Pieter-Steph du Toit will captain his country for the first time, leading a line-up that features international rookies Travis Ismaiel, Makazole Mapimpi, Andre Esterhuizen, Ivan van Zyl, Kwagga Smith, Jason Jenkins and Ox Nche.

A further six uncapped players are among the replacements, although Erasmus can call on starting XV experience with the likes of centre Jesse Kriel, fly-half Elton Jantjies and hooker Chilliboy Ralepelle.

“As coaches, we are tremendously excited about the prospect of seeing some of our best young players getting the opportunity to play at this level,” Erasmus said on South Africa’s official website.

“Wales have a very solid and effective kicking strategy and their cohesive forward and set-piece play are some of their main strong points. However, I do believe that we have picked a match-day squad that will be able to compete very strongly.”

Erasmus takes a 26-man group to the United States, including three non-playing reserves, with other players among a 43-strong squad remaining in South Africa and preparing for next week’s first Test against England in Johannesburg that will be live on Sky Sports.

South Africa side to face Wales: 15. Curwin Bosch, 14. Travis Ismaiel, 13. Jesse Kriel, 12. Andre Esterhuizen, 11. Makazole Mapimpi, 10. Elton Jantjies, 9. Ivan van Zyl, 1. Ox Nche 2. Chiliboy Ralepelle, 3. Wilco Louw, 4. Jason Jenkins, 5. Pieter-Steph du Toit (c), 6. Kwagga Smith, 7. Oupa Mohoje, 8. Dan du Preez.

Replacements: 16. Akker van der Merwe, 17. Steven Kitshoff, 18. Thomas du Toit, 19. Marvin Orie, 20. Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 21. Embrose Papier, 22. Robert du Preez, 23. Warrick Gelant.