South Africa have named an interesting starting XV ahead of their clash with Ireland on Saturday.
Both sides get their November series underway at the Aviva Stadium, with South Africa springing a few surprises with three changes from their last game against Argentina in September.
One of the biggest talking points is at fly-half, with the Stormers Damien Willemse starting at 10. Willemse has impressed at full-back and centre in the URC, but will get the opportunity to impress at fly-half for the Springboks this weekend.
The man with the dancing feet is back - in a new position - when the #Springboks face @IrishRugby in Dublin on Saturday - team announcement: https://t.co/oPabqKxI1r 🕺#StrongerTogether #StrongerForever #IREVRSA pic.twitter.com/xso1ZtTJc1
— Springboks (@Springboks) November 1, 2022
Interestingly, with no other recognised fly-half named in the squad, South Africa head coach Jacques Nienaber confirmed that Cheslin Kolbe will provide cover at 10.
“Cheslin has delivered star performances for his clubs in France at fly-half, so he will slot in as a back-up fly-half if necessary, while Faf is another option for us at 10 as well.
Damian Willemse can also move to inside centre if we need cover there, while Damian de Allende can play outside centre and Willie full-back, and this allowed for us to opt for a six-two split on the bench.”
Known for his electric pace and tricky footwork that has caused teams across the world nightmares through the years for both club and country, Cheslin Kolbe returns from injury to start at full-back, a positional change from the wing that has been anticipated.
READ HERE: Ronan O'Gara Admits Defeat To Pau Was 'Rock Bottom' For La Rochelle
As mentioned above, should he be called upon to provide cover at 10, it won’t be his first time, with some brilliant displays for his former side Toulouse in the position.
Touchline conversion from @Cheslin_Kolbe11 🎯
This man is a freak of nature 😲 pic.twitter.com/CUomo1Ppe4
— Jared Wright (@jaredwright17) February 16, 2020
One year out from the World Cup, it’s currently a problem area for the world champions, with Elton Jantjies left out of the squad for disciplinary reasons, while Handre Pollard is currently out with another knee injury.
Elsewhere in the side, Jasper Wise joins captain Siya Kolisi and Peter-Steph Du Toit in the back row, while former Munster centre Damian De Allende partners Jesse Kriel in the middle.
Ireland can expect some big ball carriers in the second half, with the Springboks going for a 6-2 split on the bench.