South Africa ‘A’ head coach Johan Ackermann has named his side that will take on the England Saxons at Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein.
He includes four forwards with Test experience – team captain Oupa Mohoje, Nizaam Carr, Stephan Lewies and Vincent Koch – in his starting team for Friday’s match.
Ackermann has also included a further two Springboks on the bench, in Coenie Oosthuizen and Piet van Zyl. They will be joined in the SA ‘A’ 23 by six players who only got their first taste of Super Rugby earlier this year, in Leolin Zas, JD Schickerling (both starting), Lizo Gqoboka Jean-Luc du Preez, RG Snyman and Lukhanyo Am (all four on the bench).
The four members of the Springbok squad for the series against Ireland, who were released to the SA ‘A’ squad, will all start on Friday. They are Garth April (fly-half), Nic Groom (scrum-half), Sikhumbuzo Notshe (flank) and Scarra Ntubeni (hooker).
“I think we have a brilliant mix of experienced players who have tasted what Test rugby is all about, as well as the four members of the Springbok squad, and exciting youngsters who will be pushing for higher honours in the coming seasons,” said Ackermann.
“There is a lot of value in having players with a lot of Test and Vodacom Super Rugby experience working with these youngsters and I’m sure we’ll see some excitement on the field on Friday.
“But we’re up against a very formidable opponent and the Saxons have been together for a long time already, so our players know that they have to sharp, focused and on top of their game for the full 80 minutes on Friday.”
South Africa ‘A’: 15 Leolin Zas, 14 Travis Ismaiel, 13 Francois Venter, 12 Howard Mnisi, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Garth April, 9 Nic Groom, 8 Nizaam Carr, 7 Oupa Mohoje (c), 6 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 5 Stephan Lewies, 4 JD Schickerling, 3 Vincent Koch, 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 Thomas du Toit
Replacements: 16 Malcolm Marx, 17 Lizo Gqoboka, 18 Coenie Oosthuizen, 19 RG Snyman, 20 Jean-Luc du Preez, 21 Piet van Zyl, 22 Francois Brummer, 23 Lukhanyo Am
Date: Friday, June 10
Venue: Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein
Kick-off: 19:10 local (17:10 GMT)
Referee: Rasta Rasivhenge (South Africa)
Assistant Referees: Lourens van der Merwe (South Africa), Jaco Kotze (South Africa)
TMO: Marius Jonker (South Africa)