Jacques Nienaber makes 14 changes to his starting XV for the match in Bloemfontein

South Africa Squad for Wales Series 2022

Jacques Nienaber has made 14 changes to his South Africa starting XV to play Wales in the second Test in Bloemfontein on Saturday.

Only Eben Etzebeth remains from the line-up that won the opening Test of the series in Johannesburg. Handre Pollard comes in at fly-half and will captain the Springboks.

There are two uncapped players in the starting team in wing Kurt-Lee Arendse and No 8 Evan Roos, who was so impressive in the United Rugby Championship for the Stormers.

There are another four players on the bench set to make their Test debuts – Ntuthuko Mchunu, Ruan Nortje, Deon Fourie and Grant Williams.

Despite all the changes, there is still a fair amount of experience in the side. Pieter-Steph du Toit and Marcell Coetzee come into the back row, Trevor Nyakane starts at loosehead, and Jesse Kriel and Andre Esterhuizen team up in midfield.

“We said from the outset that we needed to strike a balance between giving our talented young players an opportunity to show what they can do at international level, and winning,” said Nienaber.

South Africa team to play Wales – Saturday 9 July

Warrick Gelant; Kurt-Lee Arendse, Jesse Kriel, Andre Esterhuizen, Aphelele Fassi; Handre Pollard (captain), Jaden Hendrikse; Thomas du Toit, Joseph Dweba, Trevor Nyakane, Eben Etzebeth, Marvin Orie, Marcell Coetzee, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Evan Roos.

Replacements: Malcolm Marx, Ntuthuko Mchunu, Vincent Koch, Ruan Nortje, Rynhardt Elstadt, Deon Fourie, Grant Williams, Damian Willemse.

First Test – South Africa 32-29 Wales

Damian Willemse kicked a penalty with the clock in the red to give South Africa a narrow victory over Wales in the first match of their three-Test series.

It was far from a convincing performance for the world champions, who looked nervy at times and made uncharacteristic errors, but they did just enough in the second half to take a 1-0 lead in the series.

A Louis Rees-Zammit try inside three minutes had given the visitors the perfect start and the winger added a second before the break as Wales built an 18-3 half-time lead.

The Springboks got their maul into gear early in the second half, though, and that resulted in Bongi Mbonambi and Malcolm Marx touching down. They were then able to capitalise on Welsh ill-discipline – the visitors had three players sent to the sin-bin in the last quarter and were down to 12 players at one point.

Cheslin Kolbe scored in the corner to reduce the deficit to two points and then a penalty try gave South Africa the lead for the first time in the game. Wales hit back through Dewi Lake to level the scores but Dan Biggar couldn’t convert the try. Then Willemse kicked the match-winning penalty in the 82nd minute.

There is much for the Boks to work on ahead of the second Test, but they were able to maintain their record of never losing to Wales on home soil.

South Africa team to play Wales – Saturday 2 July

Damian Willemse; Cheslin Kolbe, Lukhanyo Am, Damian de Allende, Makazole Mapimpi; Elton Jantjies, Faf de Klerk; Ox Nche, Bongi Mbonambi, Frans Malherbe, Eben Etzebeth, Lood de Jager, Siya Kolisi (captain), Franco Mostert, Jasper Wiese.

Replacements: Malcolm Marx, Steven Kitshoff, Vincent Koch, Salmaan Moerat, Elrigh Louw,  Kwagga Smith, Herschel Jantjies, Willie le Roux.

South Africa Squad for Wales Series 2022

Jacques Nienaber has named a 43-man squad for South Africa’s three-Test series against Wales in July and it includes eight uncapped players.

Those who could win their first caps against Wales are forwards Deon Fourie, Elrigh Louw, Ntuthuko Mchunu, Salmaan Moerat, Ruan Nortje and Evan Roos, and backs Kurt-Lee Arendse and Grant Williams.

Harlequins centre and RPA Player of the Year Andre Esterhuizen is selected having not played for the Springboks since 2019. There are also recalls for Marcell Coetzee and Warrick Gelant.

Lock Eben Etzebeth will win his 100th South Africa cap if he plays in all three Tests against Wales, in Pretoria, Bloemfontein and Cape Town.

Nienaber said: “Building squad depth is one of the key areas for us, and it is great to see the number of young players who have put up their hands this season, and we are delighted to invite them to the national squad environment.”


Marcell Coetzee (Bulls)

Lood de Jager (Sale Sharks)

Pieter-Steph du Toit (Toyota Verblitz)

Thomas du Toit (Sharks)

Joseph Dweba (Bordeaux)

Rynhardt Elstadt (Toulouse)

Eben Etzebeth (Toulon)

Deon Fourie (Stormers)

Steven Kitshoff (Stormers)

Vincent Koch (Saracens)

Siya Kolisi (Sharks)

Elrigh Louw (Bulls)

Frans Malherbe (Stormers)

Malcolm Marx (Kubota Spears)

Bongi Mbonambi (Sharks)

Ntuthuko Mchunu (Sharks)

Salmaan Moerat (Stormers)

Franco Mostert (Honda Heat)

Ox Nche (Sharks)

Ruan Nortje (Bulls)

Trevor Nyakane (Racing 92)

Marvin Orie (Stormers)

Evan Roos (Stormers)

Kwagga Smith (Yamaha Júbilo)

Jasper Wiese (Leicester Tigers)


Kurt-Lee Arendse (Bulls)

Lukhanyo Am (Sharks)

Damian de Allende (Munster)

Faf de Klerk (Sale Sharks)

Andre Esterhuizen (Harlequins)

Aphelele Fassi (Sharks)

Warrick Gelant (Stormers)

Jaden Hendrikse (Sharks)

Elton Jantjies (NTT Docomo Red Hurricanes)

Herschel Jantjies (Stormers)

Cheslin Kolbe (Toulon)

Jesse Kriel (Canon Eagles)

Willie le Roux (Toyota Verblitz)

Makazole Mapimpi (Sharks)

Handre Pollard (Montpellier)

Cobus Reinach (Montpellier)

Damian Willemse (Stormers)

Grant Williams (Sharks)

South Africa Fixtures July 2022

Sat 2 July, South Africa 32-29 Wales

Sat 9 July, South Africa v Wales (4.05pm, Bloemfontein) Live on Sky Sports

Sat 16 July, South Africa v Wales (4.05pm, Cape Town) Live on Sky Sports

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