Familiarity with each other won’t be the Springboks’ great strength when they take on Wales in a historic Test in Washington, USA on Saturday.
Coach Rassie Erasmus has split his resources between this game and next week’s commencement of the series against England, meaning that 13 of the match-23 will be making their international debuts.
In other words, this is a team packed with rookies and a first-time captain in Pieter-Steph du Toit.
Yet Erasmus is philosophical about how the mix-and-match nature of the team for the weekend, especially regarding the danger of rustiness.
“I hope there won’t be rustiness but it’s a reality,” he said on Wednesday.
“We’ve had to feed a lot of information to the players on different platforms. It’s about everybody being on the same page in terms of tactics. You can’t expect to change their habits and skills at such short notice. But we’re prepared for all the challenges of the weekend.”
Springboks: Curwin Bosch, Travis Ismaiel, Jesse Kriel, Andre Esterhuizen, Makazole Mapimpi, Elton Jantjies, Ivan van Zyl, Dan du Preez, Oupa Mohoje, Kwagga Smith, Pieter-Steph du Toit (c), Jason Jenkins, Wilco Louw, Chiliboy Ralepelle, Ox Nche. Bench: Akker van der Merwe, Steven Kitshoff, Thomas du Toit, Marvin Orie, Skihumbuzo Notshe, Embrose Papier, Robert du Preez, Warrick Gelant.