JOHANNESBURG– South Africa Rugby’s Director of Rugby and current Springboks coach, Rassie Erasmus, has signed off on a very young team to face Wales in a one-off test in Washington DC in the United States this Saturday.

Erasmus’s starting 15 features seven uncapped players, with a further six newcomers to the Springbok side on the bench. Pieter-Steph du Toit will captain the side from lock before Siya Kolisi assumes responsibility of captaincy next week.

Erasmus said here Wednesday he wants his team to just focus on what they have worked on during their practice sessions. The one-off test match against Wales will kick off the 2018 Springbok season and Erasmus said he has worked hard to come up with his first Bok team.

I’ve been picking it every week since I’ve been appointed; you watch the first Super Rugby weekend and you think, if we play this week, what will the team look like …. then you do round two, and round three, and it changes a lot because players certainly reacted to some of the stuff we showed them through their Super Rugby coaches,” he said.

“And I’m really surprised at how quickly some of the guys have latched on to some of the stuff. So the team was consistently changing, but the last three or four weeks it stayed the same. Obviously there were a few injuries in the last two games which changed the team, but I’m proud, and I think this is a really good team going over there and the squad to pick the next side out of is really good, so I’m confident.

Newly appointed Springbok captain, Siya Kolisi, will begin his captaincy duties in earnest when the Boks face England in a three-test series, starting on June 9 at Ellis Park in Johannesburg. Kolisi said it is still dawning on him what his appointment means to South Africa.

To be honest, I think when I play my first game it will really hit me that I’m a Springbok captain. You know me, I’m just proud to be a captain …. it means a lot to me, it’s a huge privilege and an honour, and I think I’ll realise it when I’m playing, when it’s the week of the test match …. but for now I’ve just been working and doing what I have to do to help the guys who are going to play Wales.

Kolisi is not in the team to face Wales in Washington DC, and begins his captaincy of the Boks in the England series when he becomes the first black captain of the Springboks in the test arena.