Coetzee names new-look squad
New South Africa coach Allister Coetzee has named nine uncapped players in a new-look squad for June's three-Test series against Ireland.
Garth April (Sharks), Ruan Combrinck (Lions), Faf de Klerk (Lions), Steven Kitshoff (Bordeaux), Jaco Kriel (Lions) and Stormers quartet, Nic Groom, Bongi Mbonambi, Sikhumbuzo Notshe and Scarra Ntubeni could all debut against Joe Schmidt's side, with the first Test set to be played in Cape Town on June 11.
The loss of several stalwarts to retirement following last year's Rugby World Cup has inevitably reduced the experience levels in the current squad, but Coetzee, who succeeded Heyneke Meyer earlier this year, is excited by the younger talent at his disposal.
"The selection of this squad was based on rewarding form and exposing young and upcoming local players to the Springboks," he said, "which is why priority was given to locally based players.
"We have many experienced players still available for selection, but we just felt that the time was right to look at the next generation.
"Our depth was obviously tested in certain positions, but this also created opportunities for new players, who have found their feet at Super Rugby level to make the step up to the Springboks.
"I was appointed to win Test matches and I believe we have picked the best possible, available squad to do that."
Notable omissions from the squad include Bismarck and Jannie du Plessis, Johan Goosen who has been in fine recent form for Top 14 side Racing 92 and Ruan Pienaar who has declared himself unavailable for selection.
Handre Pollard and Schalk Burger, meanwhile, have been ruled out by injury and Bryan Habana and Francois Hougaard will not feature either due to their ongoing commitments with the Springbok Sevens side.
Coetzee opted not to name a captain, instead revealing that the appointment will be made just ahead of the first Test, with back rowers Duane Vermeulen and Francois Louw widely regarded as the front runners to lead the side.
The squad, comprising 17 forwards and 14 backs will begin a two week-long preparation camp in Stellenbosch and Cape Town on Sunday.