John Smit has recovered from his hamstring injury and will lead the Springboks on Saturday in the second Test against Italy, at the Buffalo City Stadium in East London.
Smit’s inclusion at hooker is one of seven changes to the starting team – five new players and two positional switches – that beat Italy by 29-13 in Witbank last weekend. There are a further six changes on the bench.
With Victor Matfield getting a break this week, Andries Bekker is back at lock for his first Test of 2010, while Schalk Burger is also fit again and takes over at flank in the place of Dewald Potgieter.
The only players that started the first Test against Italy and are selected in the same positions, are Bryan Habana (left wing), Morné Steyn (flyhalf), Ricky Januarie (scrumhalf), Pierre Spies (No.8), Francois Louw (flank), Bakkies Botha (lock), Jannie du Plessis (tighthead prop) and Gurthrö Steenkamp (loosehead prop).
Gio Aplon moves from right wing to fullback and Jean de Villiers from centre to wing, while Bekker, Burger, Jaque Fourie, Juan de Jongh and Smit will all get their first start against Italy this season.
BJ Botha, Danie Rossouw and Wynand Olivier have been included on the bench after not featuring in Witbank.
Matfield, Zane Kirchner, Bandise Maku, CJ van der Linde, Alistair Hargreaves, Ryan Kankowski and Bjorn Basson drop out of the 22.
The Springbok team is:
15 Gio Aplon (Vodacom Stormers) – 3 caps
14 Jean de Villiers (Vodacom Western Province) – 57 caps
13 Jaque Fourie (Vodacom Stormers) – 56 caps
12 Juan de Jongh (Vodacom Stormers) – 3 caps
11 Bryan Habana (Vodacom Stormers) – 59 caps
10 Morné Steyn (Vodacom Bulls) – 14 caps
9 Ricky Januarie (Vodacom Stormers) – 43 caps
8 Pierre Spies (Vodacom Bulls) – 30 caps
7 Francois Louw (Vodacom Stormers) – 3 caps
6 Schalk Burger (Vodacom Stormers) – 56 caps
5 Andries Bekker (Vodacom Stormers) – 21 caps
4 Bakkies Botha (Vodacom Bulls) – 66 caps
3 Jannie du Plessis (Sharks) – 15 caps
2 John Smit (Sharks, captain) – 95 caps
1 Gurthrö Steenkamp (Vodacom Bulls) – 24 caps
16 Chiliboy Ralepelle (Vodacom Bulls) – 11 caps
17 BJ Botha (Ulster) – 21 caps
18 Danie Rossouw (Vodacom Bulls) – 48 caps
19 Dewald Potgieter (Vodacom Bulls) – 4 caps
20 Ruan Pienaar (Sharks) – 39 caps
21 Butch James (Bath) – 36 caps
22 Wynand Oliver (Vodacom Bulls) – 28 caps