Let the debate begin: We pick our Springbok line-up to face Wales

The first Springboks Test of the year is finally upon us, but don’t expect too many surprises when coach Jacques Nienaber announces his team selection on Tuesday, 28 June.

LIVE | SPRINGBOKS V WALES: 1ST TEST, LOFTUS VERSFELD – SATURDAY 2, JULY

Saturday’s opening encounter against Wales at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria is all about setting down a benchmark for the remainder of the season, and it’s already been made pretty clear that Nienaber will stick with the “tried and tested”.

Handre Pollard has only just returned to the team camp after winning the Top 14 with Montpellier, but he should still be expected to start at No 10, while the rest of the backline picks itself.

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In the absence of injured Duane Vermeulen, it’s almost certain that in-form Jasper Wiese will continue to be backed at No 8, while Pieter-Steph du Toit will be welcomed back at blindside flank.

The Springbok v Wales 1st Test will kick off at 17:05

Up front, we expect Trevor Nyakane to continue starting at tighthead prop despite the fact Frans Malherbe is now back in the picture. That might be deemed as the only real ‘surprise’ selection in an otherwise settled run-on XV.

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Jacques Nienaber will name his match-day 23-man squad for the opening Test on Tuesday at 12:30.

Ahead of him doing so, The South African website’s Craig Lewis, Garrin Lambley and Dean Boyle have selected the starting XV’s that they believe the Springboks’ brains trust will read out.

Meanwhile, Wales will name their starting XV and substitutes exactly 48 hours later on Thursday, 30 June at 12:30.

Kick-off for all three Tests is at 17:05 and, as always, the best place to follow the action LIVE is on The South African website.

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CRAIG LEWIS’ EXPECTED SPRINGBOK STARTING XV

15 Willie le Roux, 14 Cheslin Kolbe, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Jasper Wiese, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Ox Nche

GARRIN LAMBLEY’S EXPECTED SPRINGBOK STARTING XV

15 Willie le Roux, 14 Cheslin Kolbe, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Elrigh Louw, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Steven Kitshoff

DEAN BOYLE’S EXPECTED SPRINGBOK STARTING XV

15 Willie le Roux, 14 Cheslin Kolbe, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Jasper Wiese, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Steven Kitshoff

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Jacques Nienaber and Siya Kolisi. Photo: SA Rugby website

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