Jacques Nienaber, who will be coaching the Springboks for the first time in a Test match since he replaced Rassie Erasmus, named 18 Rugby World Cup winners in his match day squad to take on Georgia on Friday at Loftus.

12 of those players he named in his squad featured in their 32-12 World Cup final triumph against England and the other six will start against Georgia.

Those who will start includes captain Siya Kolisi and his loose forward partner Pieter-Steph du Toit, Eben Etzebeth (lock), Bongi Mbonambi (hooker), Willie le Roux (fullback) and Handré Pollard (flyhalf).

Other players who featured in the grand finale of the international extravaganza are Frans Steyn (centre), Franco Mostert (lock), Malcolm Marx (hooker), Steven Kitshoff, Frans Malherbe (both props) and Herschel Jantjies (scrumhalf).

Kolisi will earn his 51st Test cap after striking his half century in the RWC final, while Pollard, Kitshoff and Kriel will all take a step closer to reaching the significant career milestone of 50 caps.

Pollard will earn his 49th Test cap and Kriel his 47th, while Kitshoff will earn his 48th cap if he takes the field as the Boks will be playing in their first competitive match since they won the Webb Ellis Cup in November 2019.

Having not played competitive and international rugby in about 19 months, it remains to be seen how the Springboks are going to fare physical against the imposing Georgians as they prepare for the Lions Series.

Springboks VS Georgia

In naming his squad, Jacques Nienaber included Rosko Specman, Aphelele Fassi and Jasper Wiese to are in line to put them in line to make their debuts when the Rugby World Cup champions will be lining up against the unheralded Georgians.

Cheetahs speedster Specman, who is no stranger to international rugby with an Olympic Games bronze medal and numerous Blitzbok tournament successes to his name, will start on the right wing while Fassi, who has been in hot form for the Sharks, has been named on the left wing.

Wiese, a former star for the Cheetahs who has since moved to the Leicester Tigers in England, will start form the bench and will also earn his first Test cap should he take the field in the closing stages of what is expected to be closely contested affair.

On the other hand, Georgia coach Levan Maisashvili selected an unchanged backline but made three changes to his pack from the team that drubbed the Netherlands 48-15 last weekend in a Rugby Europe Championship matchup.

Guram Gogichashvili has been introduced at loosehead prop‚ while Giorgi Tsutskiridze and Tornike Jalagonia have been added to the back row‚ with the latter packing down at No 8.

Georgia‚ who are 12th in the world rankings‚ will rely heavily on the experience of centre and captain Merab Sharikadze (78 caps)‚ scrumhalf Vasil Lobzhanidze (58)‚ lock Kote Mikautadze (67) and hooker Jaba Bregvadze (66).

Pick: Springboks Wins by 50/1 at BetXChange


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