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Bok coach excited to give young players a chance against Wales

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“Wales have a very solid and effective kicking strategy and their cohesive forward and set-piece play are some of their main strong points

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Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus has named 13 uncapped players in the Springbok squad for Saturday’s Test against Wales at the Robert F Kennedy Memorial Stadium in Washington, USA.

The seven players in the starting team who will be making their debut in the United States capital are Travis Ismaiel and Makazole Mapimpi (wings), Andre Esterhuizen (centre), Ivan van Zyl (scrumhalf), Kwagga Smith (flank), Jason Jenkins (lock) and Ox Nche (prop).

There are six uncapped players among the replacements. They are Akker van der Merwe (hooker), Thomas du Toit (prop), Marvin Orie (lock), Sikhumbuzo Notshe (flank), Embrose Papier (scrumhalf) and Robert du Preez (flyhalf).

Should Robert du Preez be used as a substitute, it will be the first time in Springbok history that there will be a set of a Springbok father with three Springbok sons – Robert (snr), Jean-Luc, Dan and Robert (jnr).

The Du Preez’s will also become the fourth set of three Springbok brothers. The previous three sets were the Luyt brothers (1912), the Bekker brothers (1960) and the Du Plessis brothers (1984).

Erasmus feels Saturday’s Test will help the uncapped players to showcase their talents at international level.

“As coaches, we are tremendously excited about the prospect of seeing some of our best young players getting the opportunity to play at this level,” said Erasmus.

Wales had the upper hand over the Springboks in their last two encounters, both played in Cardiff, and according to Erasmus, the Welsh will be especially motivated to continue with that trend.

“Wales have a very solid and effective kicking strategy and their cohesive forward and set-piece play are some of their main strong points.

“However, I do believe that we have picked a match-day squad that will be able to compete very strongly,” added Erasmus.

ANA