Morne Steyn only Bull in all-Province backline

THE starting XV for South Africa against Italy at Buffalo City Stadium in East London on Saturday has a distinctive Stormers look to it.

THE starting XV for South Africa against Italy at Buffalo City Stadium in East London on Saturday has a distinctive Stormers look to it.

Announcing his line-up on Tuesday, Springbok coach Peter de Villiers has opted for an all-Province backline bar flyhalf Morne Steyn who plays for the Bulls. Gio Aplon gets a start at fullback, while Juan de Jongh, Jaque Fourie and Jean de Villiers fill the midfield positions.

At scrumhalf Ricky Januarie retains his position, while out on the left wing Bryan Habana gets a chance once again.

As expected John Smit resumes his captaincy responsibilities in the front row and is excited at taking on the Azzurri after a week off through a hamstring injury.

"It is important for us to refocus for Saturday's Test," Smit said at a press conference after the team's announcement.

"It is quite strange to be watching from afar one week and then be back in the thick of things the next. We have a good team and have to make sure that what we do in training translates onto the field on match day. We had a good session this week and we have to carry that attitude into the game on Saturday," Smit said.

Another player making a return to top-flight rugby is lock Andries Bekker, who is back after a foot injury. Bekker will team up with Bakkies Botha in the locking positions with last week's captain Victor Matfield taking a well-deserved rest.

Asked if the Boks' mental approach against the lower-ranked team was any different, Smit replied: "It is important that we prepare the same every week, regardless of who we play. We concentrate on what we do well and on how we want to play. We have to fix some of the problem areas from last week but generally we want to make sure we are good in all departments."

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