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Three Boks to watch on Saturday… Here’s why!



Two players who have been in hot form recently, Kurt-Lee Arendse (outside back) and Evan Roos (No 8), have been handed starts for the Boks, while Ntuthuko Mchunu (prop), Ruan Nortje (lock), Deon Fourie (utility forward) and Grant Williams (scrumhalf) could make their Test debuts off the bench against Wales today.

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Overall, a set of wholesale changes have been made to the Boks’ matchday 23, and there are numerous other players who will have a massive opportunity on Saturday. Kick-off is at 17:05.

Below we pick three players to keep a close eye on:

Kurt-Lee Arendse

The talented 26-year-old takes over from Cheslin Kolbe on the right wing, and this will be an incredible opportunity for the speedster, who is a very similar player to Kolbe in many ways.

Arendse wasn’t always an automatic first-choice selection at the Bulls, but it’s clear that the Boks have seen something special in him, and he is sure to bring plenty of X-factor to the occasion on Saturday.

Arendse will be a largely unknown entity to Wales, but if they afford him time and space with ball in hand, he could rip their defence to shreds.

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Evan Roos

Roos will earn a start at No 8 after a remarkable season for the Stormers in the URC, and it will be fascinating to see what he can offer now at international level.

There is a real excitement factor to the team the Boks have selected for this match, and there is every reason to believe there could be more attacking intent and ‘open play’ in comparison to last weekend’s edgy opening encounter.

Roos will want to add value through his typical dynamism and powerful ball-carrying, while proving that he is ready to take the step up to the Test stage after dominating at domestic level this past season.

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Andre Esterhuizen

The burly centre last played for the Boks in August 2019, but missed out on World Cup selection before falling out of the national picture.

However, his remarkable form for English club Harlequins has seen him reinvigorate his career, with his time overseas clearly turning him into a more well-rounded player.

A long-awaited return to the No 12 jersey will present a platform for Esterhuizen to dominate through his physicality, while proving that he is the ideal back-up option to Damian de Allende.

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Boks team to face Wales in Bloemfontein

15 – Warrick Gelant (Racing 92) 9 caps, 15 pts (3t)
14 – Kurt-Lee Arendse (Vodacom Bulls) – uncapped
13 – Jesse Kriel (Canon Eagles) – 51 caps, 60 pts (12t)
12 – Andre Esterhuizen (Harlequins) 8 caps, 0 pts
11 – Aphelele Fassi (Cell C Sharks) 2 caps, 10 pts (2t)
10 – Handre Pollard (captain – Leicester) 60 caps, 601 pts (6t, 83c, 131p, 4d)
9 – Jaden Hendrikse (Cell C Sharks) 2 caps, 5 pts (1t)
8 – Evan Roos (DHL Stormers) – uncapped
7 – Pieter-Steph du Toit (Toyota Verblitz) 58 caps, 25 pts (5t)
6 – Marcell Coetzee (Vodacom Bulls) 30 caps, 30 pts (6t)
5 – Marvin Orie (DHL Stormers) – 7 caps, 0 pts
4 – Eben Etzebeth (Cell C Sharks) 98 caps, 15 pts (3t)
3 – Trevor Nyakane (Racing 92) 54 caps, 5pts (1t)
2 – Joseph Dweba (DHL Stormers) 1 cap, 0 pts
1 – Thomas du Toit (Cell C Sharks) 13 caps, 0 pts
Replacements:
16 – Malcolm Marx (Kubota Spears) 47 caps, 55 pts (11t)
17 – Ntuthuko Mchunu (Cell C Sharks) – uncapped
18 – Vincent Koch (Wasps) 32 caps, 0 pts
19 – Ruan Nortje (Vodacom Bulls) – uncapped
20 – Rynhardt Elstadt (Toulouse) – 3 caps, 0 pts
21 – Deon Fourie (DHL Stormers – uncapped)
22 – Grant Williams (Cell C Sharks) – uncapped
23 – Damian Willemse (DHL Stormers) 17 caps, 12 pts (1T, 2C, 1P)



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