The entire Sharks front row has been retained at Springbok level for this Saturday's first Test against England at Mr Price Kings Park, with the man in the middle Bismarck du Plessis having been named as the Boks' vice-captain. Picture: Steve Haag/ Gallo Images
Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer has named Sharks star Bismarck du Plessis as the new national vice-captain, while eight players from the Durban side were included in the match-day 22 for this Saturday’s first Test against England at Mr Price Kings Park.
Most notably, 21-year-old Marcell Coetzee is poised to make his Bok debut, after deservedly being named to start at openside flank following an array of impressive performances throughout this Super Rugby season.
Then the entire Sharks front row has been retained at national level, with Willem Alberts, Frans Steyn and JP Pietersen the other Sharks players included in the starting line-up.
Durbanites Keegan Daniel and Pat Lambie will also be looking to make an impact off the bench.
In naming Du Plessis as his vice-captain, Meyer said: “I believe Bismarck is a great leader and I truly believe we have some of the best hookers in the world.”
He also gave Coetzee his unequivocal backing: “Marcell has played great rugby all year and I believe he will be a superstar in years to come.”
Saturday's Test kicks-off at 5pm.
Springboks: 15 Zane Kirchner, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Jean de Villiers (c), 12 Frans Steyn, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 Pierre Spies, 7 Willem Alberts, 6 Marcell Coetzee, 5 Juandré Kruger, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis (v/c), 1 Beast Mtawarira.
Replacement: 16 Adriaan Strauss, 17 Coenie Oosthuizen, 18 Flip van der Merwe, 19 Keegan Daniel, 20 Ruan Pienaar, 21 Pat Lambie, 22 Wynand Olivier
England: 15 Mike Brown, 14 Chris Ashton, 13 Manu Tuilagi, 12 Brad Barritt, 11 Ben Foden, 10 Owen Farrell, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Ben Morgan, 7 Chris Robshaw (captain), 6 Tom Johnson, 5 Geoff Parling, 4 Mouritz Botha, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Dylan Hartley, 1 Joe Marler.
Replacements: 16 Lee Mears, 17 Paul Doran-Jones, 18 Tom Palmer, 19 Phil Dowson, 20 Lee Dickson, 21 Toby Flood, 22 Jonathan Joseph