Heineken Champions Cup newcomers Cell C Sharks, DHL Stormers and Vodacom Bulls provide more than half South Africa’s starting XV for their Test against Ireland at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin on Saturday.
Cell C Sharks lead the way with four representatives – wing Makazole Mapimpi, scrum-half Jaden Hendrikse, lock Eben Etzebeth and flanker Siya Kolisi, who also captains the team.
DHL Stormers have three in fly-half Damian Willemse plus props Steven Kitshoff and Frans Malherbe, while wing Kurt-Lee Arendse is the solitary Vodacom Bull.
There is a ninth Heineken Champions Cup player in the Springboks XV in Leicester Tigers’ No.8 Jasper Wiese, who has made 12 EPCR appearances for the English side.
“We selected a team we believe contains the best combinations to counter the threats posed by Ireland,” said Springboks head coach Jacques Nienaber.
“Damian (Willemse) has done well for us at fly-half and he is continuing to grow as a player in that role. He can also move to inside centre if we need cover there, while Damian de Allende can play outside centre and this allowed us to opt for a six-two split on the bench.”