Rugby Championship action begins this weekend, with the opening encounter seeing Springboks host rivals, Wallabies in Johannesburg.
It is almost 11 years since South Africa last hosted Australia at Emirates Airline Park in Johannesburg with the former dominating in the previous encounters. The Springboks have only lost once in ten encounters, Australia win only came back in 1963.
Rynhardt Elstadt (Toulouse, France) and Herschel Jantjies (Stormers) are the only two uncapped players in the starting team for South Africa, while prop Lizo Gqoboka (Bulls) is also set to earn his debut off the bench.
The team will be lead by experienced lock, Eben Etzebeth in the absence of regular captain Siya Kolisi who is recovering from a knee injury.
Sprinboks coach Rassie Erasmus insisted on playing his strongest side against the All-Black the following week in Wellington but however stated that this was by no means disrespecting the abilities of the Wallabies.
Australia have started their Folau-less journey but will also miss Christian Lealiifano (shoulder), Scott Sio (adductor), Tom Robertson (ankle) and Allan Alaalatoa (foot) due to injury.
There is one debutant in the starting XV, namely No 8 Fiji-born Isi Naisarani (Melbourne Rebels). It could also be a first Test cap for Waratahs prop, Harry Johnson-Holmes, who only joined the squad in Johannesburg on Wednesday evening on a late call-up following injuries to Sio and Robertson at training.
South Africa v Australia
Venue: Ellis Park, Johannesburg
Time: 17:05 SAST
15 Warrick Gelant, 14 S’bu Nkosi, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Herschel Jantjies, 8 Francois Louw, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Rynhardt Elstadt, 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Eben Etzebeth (captain), 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Tendai Mtawarira
Substitutes: 16 Schalk Brits, 17 Lizo Gqoboka, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 Marvin Orie, 20 Marcell Coetzee, 21 Cobus Reinach, 22 Frans Steyn, 23 Dillyn Leyds
15 Tom Banks , 14 Dane Haylett-Petty, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Samu Kerevi, 11 Reece Hodge, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Nic White, 8 Isi Naisarani, 7 Michael Hooper (captain), 6 Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, 5 Rory Arnold, 4 Izack Rodda, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Folau Fainga’a, 1 James Slipper
Substitutes: 16 Jordan Uelese, 17 Harry Johnson-Holmes, 18 Taniela Tupou, 19 Rob Simmons, 20 Jack Dempsey, 21 Will Genia, 22 Matt To’omua, 23 Kurtley Beale