Springboks' star pair in for England Test

Duncan Bech

Willie le Roux and Faf de Klerk have been named in South Africa's starting XV for the first Test against England in Johannesburg.

Wasps fullback le Roux and Sale halfback de Klerk have been star performers this season in the English Premiership and, alongside Duane Vermeulen - who has just left Toulon - are the only European-based players selected for Saturday's opening showdown.

It will be the first time since 2016 that le Roux and de Klerk have played for the Springboks.

Tendai Mtawarira, Bongi Mbonambi and Trevor Nyakane form South Africa's first all-black starting front row, while blindside flanker Siya Kolisi is their first black Test captain.

Nyakane is carrying a rib injury, however, and will be replaced by Wilco Louw on Friday if he fails a fitness test.

S'busiso Nkosi and Aphiwe Dyantyi debut on the wings and lock RG Snyman completes a trio of uncapped players picked for the Ellis Park encounter.

The team is vastly different to the one edged by Wales last Saturday in Washington, with Louw the sole survivor if Nyakane is declared unfit.

"We have some good experienced players and there are also some really exciting young men who have earned their opportunity to play," said SA Rugby director of rugby Rassie Erasmus.

"I'm especially pleased for the three newcomers, Aphiwe, Sbu and RG, and I am looking forward to see how they will perform in tough Test match conditions against a formidable opponent.

"England are a top-class, quality side and they will do doubt be very determined to be successful in this series and, with us desperate for success as well, it means that the supporters can expect a really good Test match Saturday.

"We have prepared as well as we could and the players are looking forward to playing in front of our passionate supporters in Johannesburg."

SOUTH AFRICA:

Willie le Roux, S'busiso Nkosi, Lukhanyo Am, Damian de Allende, Aphiwe Dyantyi, Handre Pollard, Faf de Klerk, Duane Vermeulen, Jean-Luc du Preez, Siya Kolisi (capt), Franco Mostert, RG Snyman, Trevor Nyakane, Bongi Mbonambi, Tendai Mtawarira.

Res: Akker van der Merwe, Steven Kitshoff, Wilco Louw, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Sikhumbuzo Notshe, Ivan van Zyl, Elton Jantjies, Warrick Gelant.