Springboks assistant coach Mzwandile Stick has hit back at claims that a second-string side will run out in their second test against Wales this weekend.

The Boks will be looking to seal victory in the three-match series by winning in Bloemfontein, following their thrilling come-from-behind victory Loftus Versfeld Stadium last Saturday.

Though, some clouds have gathered over the fact that coach Jacques Nienaber and his coaching staff have made 14 changes to last week’s winning team, with a total of six debutants named in the matchday squad.

Stick, however, has come out in defence of the line-up and insisted there is enough balance of experience and youth while explaining that opportunities need to be given to players that have put in the work in camp.

“If you look at our team, we have players like Thomas du Toit (prop) who captained the Cell C Sharks, Eben Etzebeth (lock) who has captained the Springboks before, and guys like Handre who have been in the system for a very long time and who know what we want to do on the field,” Stick said in the pre-match media briefing.

“The nature of his position also requires him to be one of the game drivers, so the only difference for him this week is that he will have to communicate with the match officials.

“In all honesty, calling this team a B team is disrespecting the emblem. We have 42 players in the squad and they have all played well for their clubs and, somehow, we have to give them opportunities.

“We do not have a B team, we have a good balance of guys who have been around and others who have been in form, and we feel it is important to get that balance right.”

Springbok team to face Wales in Bloemfontein:
15 – Warrick Gelant (Racing 92) 9 caps, 15 pts (3t)
14 – Kurt-Lee Arendse (Vodacom Bulls) – uncapped
13 – Jesse Kriel (Canon Eagles) – 51 caps, 60 pts (12t)
12 – Andre Esterhuizen (Harlequins) 8 caps, 0 pts
11 – Aphelele Fassi (Cell C Sharks) 2 caps, 10 pts (2t)
10 – Handre Pollard (captain – Leicester) 60 caps, 601 pts (6t, 83c, 131p, 4d)
9 – Jaden Hendrikse (Cell C Sharks) 2 caps, 5 pts (1t)
8 – Evan Roos (DHL Stormers) – uncapped
7 – Pieter-Steph du Toit (Toyota Verblitz) 58 caps, 25 pts (5t)
6 – Marcell Coetzee (Vodacom Bulls) 30 caps, 30 pts (6t)
5 – Marvin Orie (DHL Stormers) – 7 caps, 0 pts
4 – Eben Etzebeth (Cell C Sharks) 98 caps, 15 pts (3t)
3 – Trevor Nyakane (Racing 92) 54 caps, 5pts (1t)
2 – Joseph Dweba (DHL Stormers) 1 cap, 0 pts
1 – Thomas du Toit (Cell C Sharks) 13 caps, 0 pts

Replacements:
16 – Malcolm Marx (Kubota Spears) 47 caps, 55 pts (11t)
17 – Ntuthuko Mchunu (Cell C Sharks) – uncapped
18 – Vincent Koch (Wasps) 32 caps, 0 pts
19 – Ruan Nortje (Vodacom Bulls) – uncapped
20 – Rynhardt Elstadt (Toulouse) – 3 caps, 0 pts
21 – Deon Fourie (DHL Stormers – uncapped)
22 – Grant Williams (Cell C Sharks) – uncapped
23 – Damian Willemse (DHL Stormers) 17 caps, 12 pts (1T, 2C, 1P)

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