South Africa are to give debuts to Willie le Roux and Jano Vermaak on Saturday

Last Updated: 05/06/13 1:26pm

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Willie le Roux: Will get the start at full-back.

Willie le Roux: Will get the start at full-back.

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Willie le Roux and Jano Vermaak will make their debuts for South Africa when the Springboks kick off their season against Italy on Saturday.

Full-back Le Roux and scrum-half Vermaak are among five uncapped players in the 23-man squad for the Test, which will take place at Durban's Kings Park.

Coach Heyneke Meyer said: "Willie has played great rugby in Super Rugby.

"Guys, when they play well in Super Rugby, are always in with a chance. I said to him, the reason I picked you is for your X-factor."

Trevor Nyakane, Arno Botha and Jan Serfontein are the other new boys and they will all begin the game on the replacements' bench.

Morne Steyn has been recalled at fly-half and Bryan Habana returns on the right wing, having missed the end-of-year tour in 2012.

"He's back to his best," Meyer said of Steyn.

Engelbrecht will start

The backline has been revamped and JJ Engelbrecht will make his first start at outside centre, with captain Jean de Villiers lining up at No. 12.

Promising young Sharks lock Pieter-Steph du Toit was thought to be in line for a debut this weekend but has been ruled out due to injury.

The 20-year-old will miss the three internationals this month because he has a sternum problem which requires surgery.

The game is the second part of a Kings Park double-header and will take place after Scotland and Samoa have kicked off the four-nation event.

South Africa: Le Roux, Habana, Engelbrecht, De Villiers (captain), Basson, M Steyn, Vermaak, Mtawarira, Strauss, Du Plessis, Etzebeth, Kruger, Louw, Alberts, Spies.
Replacements: Ralepelle, Nyakane, Oosthuizen, Van der Merwe, A Botha, R Pienaar, Lambie, Serfontein.

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