De Villiers axes trio
Matfield, Montgomery and Steyn dropped from Wales Test
Last Updated: June 6, 2008 10:48am
World Cup-winners Victor Matfield, Percy Montgomery and Francois Steyn have been left out of South Africa's team to face Wales in Bloemfontein on Saturday.
Matfield is widely regarded as one of the best lineout operators in the world, while Montgomery's goal-kicking was near faultless at the World Cup.
However new coach Peter De Villiers has handed a recall to full-back Conrad Jantjes and a debut lock Andries Bekker for the clash against Wales - with Montgomery and Matfield relegated to the bench.
Steyn, whose kicking from distance proved a valuable asset in France as the Springboks lifted the Webb Ellis Trophy, makes way for veteran centre Adrian Jacobs.
Zimbabwe-born prop Brian Mujati will also win his first cap, and he is joined in the side by fellow Zimbabwean Tonderai Chavhanga.
Hooker John Smit will captain the side for the 50th time, while Bath fly-half Butch James starts at No.10.
There is also a return for Pierre Spies, with the No.8 back after recovering from a lung disease that almost ended his career and forced him to miss the World Cup.
South Africa: 15 C Jantjes, 14 T Chavhanga, 13 A Jacobs, 12 J de Villiers, 11 B Habana, 10 B James, 9 B Conradie, 1 G Steenkamp, 2 J Smit (capt), 3 B Mujati, 4 B Botha, 5 A Bekker, 6 L Watson, 7 J Smith, 8 P Spies.
Replacements: 16 CJ van der Linde, 17 B du Plessis, 18 D Rossouw, 19 R Pienaar, 20 P Grant, 21 P Montgomery, 22 V Matfield.