It’s round two for South Africa and Wales on Saturday, as the Springboks collide with the tourists for the second test of three in Bloemfontein.
There’s a strong argument to say the hosts played their Get Out of Jail Free card in last weekend’s opener at Loftus Versfeld.
Damian Willemse’s last-gasp penalty kick did the business to burgle a 32-29 victory in front of the baying Pretoria crowd, breaking Welsh hearts after they had hauled themselves back to level terms going into the dying embers of a tense contest.
Bok coach Jacques Nienaber has rung the changes as the caravan heads down to the Free State.
Survivors from a week ago are few and far between, with 19 alterations sweeping through the matchday squad including full debuts for Stormers rookie Evan Roos and utility back Kurt Lee Arendse on the wing.
Warrick Gelant directs the traffic from full back to complete a box-of-tricks back three alongside Aphelele Fassi.
Handre Pollard is drafted in to captain the Boks from fly-half, with Jaden Hendrikse partnering him in the half-backs, while there’s a return on the flank for Pollard’s fellow World Cup winner Pieter-Steph du Toit.
By stark contrast the Welsh make only a single change to the side that were pipped at the post last time out.
Experienced Alex Cuthbert comes in on the opposite wing to wonderkid Louis Rees-Zammit, while Sam Wainwright is in line for his debut in a red jersey from the replacements’ bench after the premature departure of Tomas Francis thanks to his concussion sustained in Pretoria.
It means coach Wayne Pivac keeps faith with his squad as they attempt to square the series ahead of next weekend’s third and final test at the Cape Town Stadium.
South Africa vs Wales: Teams, predictions and kick off time
South Africa Starting XV: 15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Kurt Lee Arendse, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Aphelele Fassi, 10 Handre Pollard (captain), 9 Jaden Henrikse, 8 Evan Roos, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Marcell Coetzee, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Joseph Dweba, 1 Thomas du Toit.
Replacements: 16 Malcolm Marx, 17 Ntuthuko Mchunu, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 Ruan Nortje, 20 Rynhardt Elstadt, 21 Deon Fourie, 22 Grant Williams, 23 Damian Willemse.
Wales Starting XV: 15 Liam Williams, 14 Louis Rees-Zammit, 13 George North, 12 Nick Tompkins, 11 Alex Cuthbert, 10 Dan Biggar (captain), 9 Kieran Hardy, 8 Taulupe Faletau, 7 Tommy Reffell, 6 Dan Lydiate, 5 Adam Beard, 4 Will Rowlands, 3 Dillon Lewis, 2 Ryan Elias, 1 Gareth Thomas.
Kick off time is at 17:05 South African time, which is GMT +2.
Prediction methodology explained: The expected win percentage is based off publicly available odds. For example, if a team’s odds are 2.30, the expected chance of winning is 43%. If the odds are 1.62 the expected chance of winning is 62% and so on. These are accurate at the time of writing but are subject to change. Where there is no value listed, the odds were not available at the time of writing. Score margins use the methodology developed by Rugby Vision.
|Chance of winning (%)||Points margin|
Replacements: 16 Dewi Lake, 17 Wyn Jones, 18 Sam Wainwright, 19 Alun Wyn Jones, 20 Josh Navidi, 21 Tomos Williams, 22 Gareth Anscombe, 23 Josh Adams.
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Antoinette is a recovering journalist. She has won multiple Sports Journalist of the Year awards and with bylines in The Guardian, Sports Illustrated, Daily Maverick and the New Statesman – among others. She thinks it is a bit odd writing about herself in the third person, unless she is playing as herself in The Sims. She hopes one day Ian Google will love her again.