South Africa head coach Jacques Nienaber has named four Heineken Champions Cup players in his starting XV to take on the British and Irish Lions in their opening Test in Cape Town on Saturday. 

2021 Heineken Champions Cup winner Cheslin Kolbe – who scored two tries in Stade Toulousain’s run to a fifth European title – starts on the wing and joins Munster Rugby centre Damian de Allende, Montpellier Hérault Rugby fly-half Handre Pollard and Sale Sharks scrum-half Faf de Klerk in the backs. 

De Klerk helped Sale to the Heineken Champions Cup quarter-finals last season before a heavy defeat at the hands of eventual finalists Stade Rochelais.  

Pollard, who is set to feature in the Heineken Champions Cup this season after winning the European Rugby Challenge Cup last term, will make his 50th appearance for the Springboks on Saturday. 

RC Toulon lock Eben Etzebeth – who is set to play in the Challenge Cup next season – starts in the second row, while the replacements’ bench includes Toulouse back-row forward Rynhardt Elstadt, Sale lock Lood de Jager and Section Paloise fly-half Elton Jantjies. 

Springboks captain Siya Kolisi has recovered from COVID-19 to lead a side including 11 of the players who started the World Cup final win over England in 2019.