The game is the first in the Springboks’ shortened 2019 Castle Lager Rugby Championship campaign, which also consists of away matches against New Zealand and Argentina. Kick-off on Saturday is at 17h05 and the match will be broadcast live on SuperSport.
Etzebeth takes over the captaincy from regular skipper Siya Kolisi, who is recovering from a knee injury, while Aphiwe Dyantyi was also not considered for selection because of a hamstring injury. It will be Etzebeth’s 12th Test as Bok captain.
Elstadt (Toulouse, France) and Jantjies (DHL Stormers) are the only two uncapped players in the starting team, while Lizo Gqoboka (prop, Vodacom Bulls) is also set to earn his debut off the bench.
Elstadt is picked at No 6 flank in a loose trio that also includes the experienced duo of Pieter-Steph du Toit (No 7, 46 caps) and No 8 Francois Louw (65 caps). Jantjies, will play alongside the 33-cap Elton Jantjies (flyhalf) in a new-look halfback combination.
On the bench there is also a return to the Bok fold for a number of familiar faces as Erasmus casts his net wide with the 2019 Rugby World Cup squad in mind. They are Ulster loose forward Marcell Coetzee, Cobus Reinach (Northampton Saints, scrumhalf), the mercurial Frans Steyn (Montpellier, utility back) and Dillyn Leyds (DHL Stormers, utility back).
The Springbok pack for Saturday’s match on the Highveld is hugely experienced, sharing 394 caps, and is expected to the lead the charge against the wily Wallaby forward unit. Etzebeth has 75 caps to his name, his lock partner Lood de Jager is set to make his 39th appearance while Tendai Mtawarira has already played in 107 Tests.
The Springbok team to Australia in Johannesburg:
15. Warrick Gelant (Vodacom Bulls), 5 caps - 5 points (1 try)
14. Sbu Nkosi (Cell C Sharks), 6 - 20 (4t)
13. Jesse Kriel (Vodacom Bulls), 40 - 60 (12t)
12. André Esterhuizen (Cell C Sharks), 6 - 0
11. Makazole Mapimpi (Cell C Sharks), 4 - 20 (4t)
10. Elton Jantjies (Emirates Lions), 33 - 229 (2t, 42c, 45p)
9. Herschel Jantjies (DHL Stormers), uncapped
8. Francois Louw (Bath, England), 65 - 45 (9t)
7. Pieter-Steph du Toit (DHL Stormers), 46 - 20 (4t)
6. Rynhardt Elstadt (Toulouse, France), uncapped
5. Lood de Jager (Vodacom Bulls), 38 - 20 (4t)
4. Eben Etzebeth (captain, DHL Stormers), 75 - 15 (3t)
3. Trevor Nyakane (Vodacom Bulls), 37 - 5 (1t)
2. Bongi Mbonambi (DHL Stormers), 26 - 15 (3t)
1. Tendai Mtawarira (Cell C Sharks), 107 - 10 (2t)
16. Schalk Brits (Vodacom Bulls), 11 - 5 (1t)
17. Lizo Gqoboka (Vodacom Bulls), uncapped
18. Vincent Koch (Saracens, England), 13 - 0
19. Marvin Orie (Emirates Lions), 1 - 0
20. Marcell Coetzee (Ulster, Ireland), 28 - 30 (6t)
21. Cobus Reinach (Northampton Saints, England), 10 - 10 (2t)
22. Frans Steyn (Montpellier, France), 56 - 132 (10t, 5c, 21p, 3d)
23. Dillyn Leyds (DHL Stormers), 9 - 5 (1t)