Boks give Whiteley a start at No.8

South African No.8 Warren Whiteley will make his first start for the Springboks against a World XV in Cape Town this weekend ahead of their Rugby Championship opener against the Wallabies.

The Springboks play Australia in Brisbane on July 18 with Whiteley in the frame to be in the run-on side in the absence of powerhouse No.8 Duane Vermeulen who is sidelined indefinitely with a neck injury.

The Australian players know the busy Whiteley well, particularly the NSW Waratahs, who fell to the Lions late in the Super Rugby season.

Coach Heyneke Meyer has named two uncapped players – starting outside centre Jesse Kriel and replacement tighthead prop Vincent Koch – in his matchday 23.

Centre and regular skipper Jean de Villiers continued his remarkable recovery from a career-threatening injury when he was picked in the match against the Robbie Deans-coached World XV at Newlands on Saturday.

De Villiers was included on an eight-man bench, while Stormers’ bulldozer Damian de Allende starts at No.12.

There were fears the 34-year-old South Africa skipper would be forced to retire after suffering a knee dislocation and ligament damage during a defeat to Wales in Cardiff last November.

“We will still manage how he is used against the World XV and afterwards we’d like him to return to Western Province, where he will be available for their Absa Currie Cup warm-ups,” Meyer said.

Lock Victor Matfield, 38, will captain the side with scrumhalf Ruan Pienaar vice-captain.

Other notable absentees for the Boks are scrumhalf Fourie du Preez and flanker Willem Alberts who are both injured.

South Africa (15-1): Willie le Roux, JP Pietersen, Jesse Kriel, Damian de Allende, Bryan Habana, Handre Pollard, Ruan Pienaar, Warren Whiteley, Marcell Coetzee, Francois Louw, Victor Matfield (capt), Eben Etzebeth, Jannie du Plessis, Bismarck du Plessis, Tendai Mtawarira. Bench: Adriaan Strauss, Trevor Nyakane, Vincent Koch, Oupa Mohoje, Schalk Burger, Cobus Reinach, Patrick Lambie, Jean de Villiers

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