Rugby: Springboks name strong side to face Wales

Frans Steyn will start at fullback in South Africa's pool D Rugby World Cup clash against Wales. Photo / Getty Images
Frans Steyn will start at fullback in South Africa's pool D Rugby World Cup clash against Wales. Photo / Getty Images

Sixteen players who were involved in South Africa's 2007 World Cup triumph have been named in their opening-game squad to meet Wales in Wellington on Sunday.

The Pool D clash is expected to be tightly contested and coach Peter de Villiers has named five forwards on his bench, including an entire extra front row.

Second-rower Bakkies Botha is unavailable for the clash due to an Achilles injury and his place has been taken by Danie Rossouw.

Despite battling a hamstring niggle, Victor Matfield has been named to lock the scrum alongside Rossouw.

The team features five changes from the side that beat the All Blacks 18-5 in Port Elizabeth last month, with the return of fullback Frans Steyn a notable inclusion.

It is also the most experienced South African team of all time, boasting a total of 815 caps, which surpasses the previous total of 810 - a record set against Australia in Durban last month.

Sunday's game kicks off at 8.30pm and Wales will name their squad this afternoon.

South Africa: 15 Frans Steyn, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Jaque Fourie, 12 Jean de Villiers, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Morne Steyn, 9 Fourie de Preez; 8 Pierre Spies, 7 Schalk Burger, 6 Heinrich Brossouw, 5 Victor Matfield, 4 Danie Rossouw, 3 Jannie de Plessis, 2 John Smit (captain), 1 Tendai Mtawarira; Substitutes: 16 Bismarck du Plessis, 17 Gurthro Steenkamp, 18 CJ van der Linde, 19 Johann Muller, 20 Willem Alberts, 21 Francois Hougaard, 22 Butch James.

- APNZ

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