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Page last updated at 14:15 GMT, Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Springboks' Smit to start at prop

Venue: Millennium Stadium Date: Saturday, 8 November Kick-off: 1430 GMT Coverage: Live on BBC One, Radio Wales & online. Highlights on Scrum V, BBC Two (Sunday, 1800 GMT). Live text commentary on BBC Sport website
John Smit usually plays at hooker for the Springboks
John Smit usually plays at hooker for the Springboks

South Africa captain John Smit will start at prop for their opening autumn Test with Wales on Saturday instead of his usual position of hooker.

Ruan Pienaar has also been switched from his usual scrum-half role to fly-half for the first time, partnering Fourie de Preez.

Eleven of the starting side who won the second Test 37-21 in Pretoria in the summer will start this time around.

Bismarck du Plessis and Schalk Burger are also in the world champions' team.

Of the four players who have recovered from injuries, only lock Bakkies Botha makes the starting XV.

After recovering from a knee injury picked up against Argentina in September, he takes his place in the second row alongside Victor Matfield.

Adrian Jacobs starts at outside centre ahead of Jaque Fourie, who has been named on the bench along with Ryan Kankowski.

The uncapped pair of flanker Heinrich Brussow and Golden Lions fly-half Earl Rose miss out all together.

De Villiers has chosen not to pick any of the Springboks' overseas-based players in his squad for this month's tour.

He has overlooked Bath's Butch James, Toulon's Joe van Niekerk and Leinster's CJ van der Linde.

Four other Tri-Nations squad players are missing from the touring party, with hooker Adriaan Strauss and fly-half Peter Grant overlooked.

Full-back Percy Montgomery has retired from Test rugby and flanker Luke Watson withdrew after a dispute with the South African Rugby Union.

De Villiers believes the British tour will play a key part in the Springboks' preparations for the Lions tour.

"With the British and Irish Lions heading to South Africa in just a few months these Tests are as important as any we have undertaken since our readmission in 1992," he said.


Wales team: Lee Byrne (Ospreys); Leigh Halfpenny (Cardiff Blues), Jamie Roberts (Cardiff Blues), Gavin Henson (Ospreys), Shane Williams (Ospreys); Stephen Jones (Scarlets), Gareth Cooper (Gloucester); Gethin Jenkins (Cardiff Blues), Matthew Rees (Scarlets), Adam Jones (Ospreys), Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys), Ian Evans (Ospreys), Ryan Jones (Ospreys, capt), Martyn Williams (Cardiff Blues), Andy Powell (Cardiff Blues).
Replacements: Richard Hibbard (Ospreys), Duncan Jones (Ospreys), Ian Gough (Ospreys), Dafydd Jones (Scarlets), Dwayne Peel (Sale Sharks), James Hook (Ospreys), Tom Shanklin (Cardiff Blues).

South Africa team: Conrad Jantjes; JP Pietersen, Adrian Jacobs; Jean de Villiers, Bryan Habana, Ruan Pienaar, Fourie du Preez; Tendai Mtawarira, Bismarck du Plessis, John Smit (capt), Bakkies Botha, Victor Matfield, Schalk Burger, Juan Smith, Pierre Spies.
Replacements: Brian Mujati, Gurthrö Steenkamp, Andries Bekker, Ryan Kankowski, Ricky Januarie, Frans Steyn, Jaque Fourie.

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see also
Wales' rugby fixtures
26 Jun 07 |  Welsh
Wales rugby results archive
15 Oct 03 |  Welsh
Boks pick home stars for GB tour
25 Oct 08 |  Rugby Union
Mighty Boks: South African rugby
01 Oct 08 |  Rugby Union
BBC Sport Wales coverage
28 Oct 08 |  Wales
Coming up next on Scrum V...
27 Oct 08 |  Welsh


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