Picturedabove: South African coach Jake White poses with the three debutants -Francois Steyn, Bevin Fortuin and Jaco Pretorius - that will form theSprinboks' back three for Saturday's clash with Ireland.
Fortuinand White are holding the centenary jersey which the 'Boks will donthis weekend to commemorate the 1906 team which travelled north forSouth Africa's maiden overseas tour.
White,who has been at South Africa's helm since replacing Rudolf Straeuli inFebruary 2004, has been heartened by how the new trio have adapted tothe senior squad.
The former Under-21 coach said: "Already the three guys have brought a lot of energy and enthusiasmto the squad. They're very keen and excited about being in thisSpringboks team, and that enthusiasm tends to rub off on the other moreexperienced players.
"All three have been involved in the Sevens game - they're players who like to try and create a bit, and that's an area we've been trying to work on, especially on our ability to counter attack."
The special jersey - a replica of the 1906 shirt - whichthe 'Boks will wear on Saturday together with blue shorts and bluesocks. In another nod to the bygone era, there will also be nosponsor's branding on the jersey, which South Africa's main sponsorsSasol have agreed to.
An overview of the South Africans' team announcement press conference at the Dunboyne Castle Hotel. Saturday's game will be White's 35th in charge ofthe 'Boks - they have won 21, lost 12 and drawn one game since theJohannesburg man's first Test against Ireland in Bloemfontein in June2004.
Interestinglyfive of their defeats have occurred in South Africa's last seven Testmatches. However they managed to win their last two outings in the 2006Tri-Nations Series, beating both New Zealand (21-20) and Australia (24-16) at home in September.
The words on every World Cup coach's lips at present - 'squad depth' -have made White leave some of his best players at home for his side'stour of Ireland and the UK. It is a calculated risk, but one worthtaking according to the coach.
"Clive Woodward, whom I regard as my mentor, did not play his best teamagainst France before the 2003 World Cup. They were beaten by twopoints and lost their chance of setting a Test record for remainingunbeaten - but they won the World Cup a few months later."
Jaco Pretorius isa former Sevens specialist and captain of the South African Sevensteam. The 26-year-old is more noted as a centre for the EllisPark-based Lions, but he will line out on the right wing on Saturday.
Hesaid: "Everybody knows the Irish are very difficult to beat in Dublinand especially with the form they have shown recently. They have a verydangerous back line and a settled team. Obviously our analysts havedone a lot of hard work, behind the scenes, to ensure we know exactlywhat to expect."
Pretorius, who scored 11 Currie Cup tries this season, added that muchof the 'Boks' focus, in the lead-up to this Test, has been on theirdefensive alignments and playing in the wet weather. Headded: "We've focussed a lot on defence this week. The defensive linesthat we use require some adjustment - depending if you play wing,centre or full-back - and having a sound defence will be the biggest factor on Saturday."
Francois Steyn, 19,has had a rapid rise into the senior ranks of South African rugby. Onlylast year he was playing for the South Africa Under-19s and FreeState's U-21 side. After some outstanding performances for the Natal Sharks in this season's Currie Cup, Steyn, who usually plays at out-half, certainly caught White's eye. He is a graduate of the Murray Mexted Academy in New Zealand.
The 26-year-old Bevin Fortuin comes to Ireland with a growing reputation. Fortuin is known in the South African game for his powerful running, strong tackling and lengthy kicking from full-back. He was a member of the Free State Cheetahs team that drew the Currie Cup final with the Blue Bulls last month.
Whiteadded: "It is easy to field newcomers in matches at home, in front oftheir own supporters. Here, conditions are totally different. I want tosee which players put their hands up in the European conditions. Ifthey do that, I'll have a delightful, positive problem."
**All photos by Donall Farmer of Inpho Photography**