Only Jan Serfontein (centre), Paul Willemse (lock), Steven Kitshoff (prop) and captain and flanker Wiaan Liebenberg remained from the side that lost their opening match against Ireland.
Four players, Marais Schmidt (fullback), Travis Ismaiel (wing), William Small-Smith (centre) and Khaya Majola will make their first appearance at the tournament, while Handrè Pollard (flyhalf) and Braam Steyn (eightman) was unused substitutes against Ireland.
Theron explained the big turnover of players for this match.
“This was always part of our planning, as we only have a three day turnaround between the two matches. We are keen to redeem ourselves against Italy as we disappointed ourselves and our supporters against the Irish and I am convinced that the new players in the team will provide us with a lot of positive energy.”
Liebenberg said the changes will not affect their play.
“We have been training together as a group for a while now and the new guys slotted in with ease. We are lucky to have such a short turnaround in that we can now rectify the mistakes we made in our opening game. We are still in the hunt to win the tournament.”
Team vs Italy (Friday 8 June 2012, kick-off 18h45):
15. Marais Schmidt (MTN Golden Lions)
14. Tshotsho Mbovane (DHL Western Province)
13. William Small-Smith (Vodacom Blue Bulls)
12. Jan Serfontein (Vodacom Blue Bulls)
11. Travis Ismaiel (Vodacom Blue Bulls)
10. Handrè Pollard (DHL Western Province)
9. Vian van der Watt (MTN Golden Lions)
8. Braam Steyn (KZN)
7. Wiaan Liebenberg (Vodacom Blue Bulls, captain)
6. Khaya Majola (KZN)
5. Ruan Botha (MTN Golden Lions)
4. Paul Willemse (MTN Golden Lions)
3. Oliver Kebble (DHL Western Province)
2. Jason Thomas (Vodacom Blue Bulls)
1. Steven Kitshoff (DHL Western Province)
16. Mark Pretorius (MTN Golden Lions)
17. Allan Dell (KZN)
18. Pieter Steph du Toit (KZN)
19. Fabian Booysen (MTN Golden Lions)
20. Abrie Griesel (Vodacom Blue Bulls)
21. Tony Jantjies (Vodacom Blue Bulls)
22. Pat Howard (DHL Western Province)
23. Maks van Dyk (KZN)