sarugby.net 07.Jun.2012Getty Images
DHL Western Province lock Eben Etzebeth, Vodacom Blue Bulls lock Juandré Kruger and Sharks flanker Marcell Coetzee have all been included in the starting 15 against England.
A fourth uncapped player, Toyota Free State Cheetahs prop Coenie Oosthuizen, has been selected on the bench.
Both Etzebeth and Coetzee are still eligible to play Under-21 rugby.
Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer also announced that Bismarck du Plessis will be the vice-captain for the Castle Incoming Tour.
“We’re fortunate to have a strong leadership core in Jean, Bismarck and, if he gets replaced, Adriaan Strauss,” said Meyer.
The starting 15 boast a combined total of 458 Test caps. Meyer, in naming his first Test side, said the newcomers in the squad all deserved their places following some great displays for their franchises in Vodacom Super Rugby.
“Eben, Juandré, Marcell and Coenie have all put up their hands this season and I know they can succeed at Test level,” said Meyer.
“Although the team is quite young, we still have some experience across the starting 15. The balance in the team is right in the way we want to play against England and we’re looking forward to the first Test of the season.”
Only nine players that played in the Rugby World Cup quarter-final against Australia last year have been included in the starting line-up.
“I have faith in the players and the ball is now in their hands to show they have what it takes to perform constantly at this level as we enter a new Springbok era,” said Meyer.
The Springbok team to face England in Durban is:
Springbok team: Zane Kirchner, JP Pietersen, Jean de Villiers (captain), Frans Steyn, Bryan Habana, Morne Steyn, Francois Hougaard, Pierre Spies, Willem Alberts, Marcell Coetzee, Juandre Kruger, Eben Etzebeth, Jannie du Plessis, Bismarck du Plessis, Beast Mtawarira.
Replacements: Adriaan Strauss, Coenie Oosthuizen, Flip van der Merwe, Keegan Daniel, Ruan Pienaar, Patrick Lambie, Wynand Olivier.