The inclusion of the three tight forwards are the only changes to the starting XV that did duty in the opening Pool B meeting with New Zealand, which will provide the Boks with a massive forward challenge.
Mtawarira, Mbonambi and De Jager leapfrog Steven Kitshoff, Malcolm Marx and Franco Mostert respectively, who are all expected to make an impact from the bench after the interval.
Two players drop out from the New Zealand match 23 completely with Trevor Nyakane (who has returned home with a calf injury) and Jesse Kriel (hamstring) not considered because of injury.
Nyakane is replaced by Vincent Koch, while there is not a direct replacement for Kriel. Rassie Erasmus, director of rugby, has opted for only two back replacements on the bench and six forwards. De Jager, who carried the water against New Zealand, is the other new name to the line-up along with Koch.
The Springboks must win to have any hopes of qualifying for the quarter-finals.
The teams have met 14 times before, with South Africa winning 13, although that solitary defeat (in Florence in 2016) was with a team featuring 10 of Friday’s Bok selection (in what turned out to be Bryan Habana’s final Springbok test).
The match kicks off at 11h45 SA time on Friday (18h45 Japan time) and will be broadcast on SuperSport 201 and SABC radio channels.
The Springbok team to play Italy in Shizuoka on Friday:
15. Willie le Roux (Toyota Verblitz, Japan), 57 caps - 60 points (12 tries)
14. Cheslin Kolbe (Toulouse, France), 11 - 25 (5t)
13. Lukhanyo Am (Cell C Sharks), 11 - 10 (2t)
12. Damian de Allende (DHL Stormers), 42 - 20 (4t)
11. Makazole Mapimpi (Cell C Sharks), 10 - 50 (8t)
10. Handré Pollard (Vodacom Bulls), 43 – 396 (6t, 66c, 74p, 4d)
9. Faf de Klerk (Sale Sharks, England), 26 - 15 (3t)
8. Duane Vermeulen (Vodacom Bulls), 50 - 15 (3t)
7. Pieter-Steph du Toit (DHL Stormers), 51 - 25 (5t)
6. Siya Kolisi (captain, DHL Stormers), 45 - 30 (6t)
5. Lood de Jager (Vodacom Bulls) 41 - 25 (5t)
4. Eben Etzebeth (DHL Stormers), 81 - 15 (3t)
3. Frans Malherbe (DHL Stormers), 33 - 0
2. Bongi Mbonambi (DHL Stormers), 31 - 30 (6t)
1. Tendai Mtawarira (Cell C Sharks), 113 - 10 (2t)
16. Malcolm Marx (Emirates Lions), 28 - 20 (4t)
17. Steven Kitshoff (DHL Stormers), 42 - 5 (1t)
18. Vincent Koch (Saracens, England) 16 - 0
19. RG Snyman (Vodacom Bulls), 18 – 0
20. Franco Mostert (Gloucester, England), 34 - 5 (1t)
21. Francois Louw (Bath, England), 71 - 50 (10t)
22. Herschel Jantjies (DHL Stormers), 6 - 20 (4t)
23. Frans Steyn (Montpellier, France), 62 - 136 (10t, 7c, 21p, 3d)