Three Australians have been selected in the World XV starting line-up to play South Africa in a Cape Town exhibition match to kick off the Springboks’ season ahead of the Rugby Championship and World Cup.
Winger Lachie Turner, five-eighth Mike Harris and halfback Luke Burgess have been picked in the run-on team to face South Africa on Saturday at Newlands Stadium.
Lock legend Bakkies Botha changes sides to skipper the world team against his home country.
Botha won 85 caps for the Springboks before quitting last year at the age of 35 having formed a world-class, second-row partnership with Victor Matfield for many seasons.
Matfield will be on the opposite side at Newlands when South Africa begin their five-match countdown to the Rugby World Cup in England, which begins on September 18.
New Zealand-born World XV coach Robbie Deans said Botha was a natural choice to lead the world selection in the non-cap game.
“He was leading before being appointed the leader,” said the former Wallaby coach.
“Bakkies really enjoyed this week, mixing with those he has played against, and has been a big contributor in helping the group come together.
“He has been a huge presence in South African rugby for a long time so it will be a real occasion when he leads the World team out against his country.”
The World pack includes other former Test stars in prop Carl Hayman and lock Ali Williams from New Zealand and South African prop Gurthro Steenkamp.
English brothers Delon (fullback) and Steffon Armitage (flanker) are also in a starting line-up that includes eight players from European club champions Toulon.
WORLD XV (15-1):
Delon Armitage (ENG); Lachlan Turner (AUS), JJ Engelbrecht (RSA), Maxime Mermoz (FRA), David Smith (SAM); Mike Harris (AUS), Luke Burgess (AUS); Luke Whitelock (NZL), Steffon Armitage (ENG), Jordan Taufua (NZL); Bakkies Botha (RSA, capt), Ali Williams (NZL); Carl Hayman (NZL), Craig Burden (RSA), Gurthro Steenkamp (RSA)
Res: David Roumieu (FRA), Alexandre Menini (FRA), Petrus du Plessis (RSA), Flip van der Merwe (RSA), Louis-Benoit Madaule (FRA), Maxime Machenaud (FRA), Andrew Horrell (NZL), Rudi Wulf (NZL)
Coach: Robbie Deans (NZL)