SOUTH Africa coach Heyneke Meyer has backed his three debutants to be a success against England during Saturday’s Test in Durban, even though his bold team selection is uncharacteristic for the Springboks.
Three of their eight starting forwards, locks Juandre Kruger and Eben Etzebeth and flanker Marcell Coetzee, will receive their first caps, suggesting South Africa will be relatively inexperienced in an area where England traditionally thrive, though Meyer is unconcerned about their ability to impress.
“Eben, Juandre and Marcell have all put their hands up this season and I know they can succeed at Test level,” said Meyer. “It is quite a new thing in South Africa to have two uncapped locks starting, but I am confident in them. I know they will make South Africa proud.
“Although the team is quite young, we still have some experience across the starting 15. The balance is right in the way we want to play England and we’re looking forward to the first Test.”
England coach Stuart Lancaster names his Test team this morning.