Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus has played his cards for the first of three test this weekend against England when he named his team.
There was not much surprises from what we expected it to be and we will have some arguing about combinations maybe, but all in all it is the best side he could field this week.
There was the setback this week with Bismarck and Frans Steyn making themselves unavailable in what was reported as injuries they sustain in the Top 14 final last week.
Hopefully we will get the true story in time but something just do not seem right with that explanation.
This would not have changed Erasmus selection for this weekend as he already stated that he will not pick them for the first test.
Erasmus selection for Saturday test showed that he is not scared to give players there fair change with players like Aphiwe Dyantyi, S’bu Nkosi and Lukhanyo Am.
Erasmus wants to play winning rugby and the important part is to win first, then there is transformation which is not going to go away.
Erasmus said that Rassie the Springboks will never catch up to leading teams in world rugby unless they are willing to keep trying new things.
Playing at altitude Erasmus have picked some players that could make an real impact in the last twenty minutes with Van Der Merwe, Notshe and Du Toit all on the bench.
Bench players have been as important as the run-on players and this may be the key for Erasmus on Saturday.
Ivan van Zyl, Elton Jantjies and Warrick Gelant will cover for the backs.
This means Erasmus will go into the test with a 5/3 split which also shows us that he expect a huge onslaught from the English forwards.
For England Nick Isiekwe will start at No 5 on Saturday. He has been great for Saracens this year and will start inplace of injured Launchbury.
The youngster Curry will start at openside flank with Robshaw bring experience at the blindside. Vanipola will be the number eight for England on Saturday.
Farrell will play in the midfield with Slade which means that Ford and Youngs will start again as 9/10 combination.
Cipriani could not find a spot on the match day 23.
We can expect the English to come hard up front and also bombard the Springbok back three with high kicks.
It will be all up to how the Springboks will be absorbing the pressure and still manage to play their own game.
Predictions: For most it will be a Springbok win but this will be a close contest which is up for grabs for either team… I go with Springboks by 9 just because I do not really know
South Africa: 15 Willie le Roux, 14 S’busiso Nkosi, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Aphiwe Dyantyi, 10 Handré Pollard, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Jean-Luc du Preez, 6 Siya Kolisi (c), 5 Franco Mostert, 4 RG Snyman, 3 Trevor Nyakane/Wilco Louw, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Tendai Mtawarira
Replacements: 16 Akker van der Merwe, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Wilco Louw/Thomas du Toit, 19 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 20 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 21 Ivan van Zyl, 22 Elton Jantjies, 23 Warrick Gelant
England – 15 Elliot Daly, 14 Jonny May, 13 Henry Slade, 12 Owen Farrell (c), 11 Mike Brown, 10 George Ford, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Billy Vunipola, 7 Tom Curry, 6 Chris Robshaw, 5 Nick Isiekwe, 4 Maro Itoje, 3 Kyle Sinckler, 2 Jamie George, 1 Mako Vunipola.
Replacements: 16 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 17 Joe Marler, 18 Harry Williams, 19 Brad Shields, 20 Nathan Hughes, 21 Ben Spencer, 22 Piers Francis, 23 Denny Solomona.