Andre Esterhuizen will earn his first cap for South Africa in nearly three years when the Springboks take on Wales in Bloemfontein on Saturday as Springboks head coach Jacques Nienaber makes 14 changes.
Esterhuizen has thrived in England since joining Harlequins, winning the RPA Players’ Player of the Year award this season and lifting the Gallagher Premiership title last year, but has found his opportunities with South Africa. South limited by the presence of Damian de Allende.
However, with De Allende rested with a number of other frontline Springboks for Saturday’s Test against Wales, Esterhuizen will now earn a much-awaited ninth cap for his country.
Despite a narrow 32-29 win in the first Test in Pretoria, Nienaber chose to cut hard and switch sides.
Handre Pollard returns as fly-half and captain of the world champions in the absence of Siya Kolisi, while Pieter-Steph du Toit also returns after injury. Aside from the Eben Etzebeth starting at Lock, there are no other survivors from the first Test, with a start for in-form Evan Roos Stormers No 8.
A brand new backline also features fellow Bulls wing debutant Kurt-Lee Arendse, with four other uncapped players on the bench in prop Ntuthuko Mchunu, lock Ruan Nortje, backline Deon Fourie at the age of 35 and also the scrum half. Grant Williams.