Sibusiso Nkosi for the Springboks and Mike Brown for England during the 2018 Test match at Ellis Park in Johannesburg, June 9 2018. Picture: GALLO IMAGES
Sibusiso Nkosi for the Springboks and Mike Brown for England during the 2018 Test match at Ellis Park in Johannesburg, June 9 2018. Picture: GALLO IMAGES

The Springboks came through their thrilling first Test win over England on Saturday unscathed except for a few minor injuries.

Fullback Willie le Roux, scrumhalf Faf de Klerk and flyhalf Handré Pollard are expected to be fit for Bloemfontein at the weekend.

Coach Rassie Erasmus confirmed that Le Roux and De Klerk struggled with minor cramps while Pollard’s shoulder issue is not expected to rule him out of the second Test.

Le Roux was replaced by Warrick Gelant for his second international match after 64 minutes, Ivan van Zyl came on for De Klerk in the 73rd minute, while Pollard lasted the whole game.

"Willie and Faf were just cramps and Handré has a bit of a shoulder problem," he said, acknowledging that the niggles were not worrying.

Elton Jantjies and Siya Kolisi for the Springboks celebrate winning the first Test against England at Ellis Park, June 9 2018. Picture: GALLO IMAGES
Elton Jantjies and Siya Kolisi for the Springboks celebrate winning the first Test against England at Ellis Park, June 9 2018. Picture: GALLO IMAGES

Erasmus was brave to hand debuts to right wing Sibusiso Nkosi, who scored a brace of tries, left wing Aphiwe Dyantyi, who scored one of his own, and lock RG Snyman against a more experienced England side and he was impressed with their performances.

"What I take out of this match is that we gave caps to younger players to try them under pressure and we will have to make bold calls going into the World Cup," Erasmus said.

"There is nothing more rewarding than to see guys like Sibusiso, Lukhanyo, Aphiwe, RG and the others who have not played too many international matches playing well," he said.

"In the months leading up to the World Cup, we are going to lose some matches because we have to give caps to certain guys, put them under pressure and see how they react.

"If we don’t put them in these situations, we will never know how we are going to play at the World Cup.

"We can always take the conservative route but look at the way that Faf played. He was a little bit of a chance but what he brought to the party was awesome."

Victorious captain Siya Kolisi admitted he was worried by England’s good start after they scored three early tries.

"After the slow start, everything came together because the nerves were gone and all the stuff that we worked on during the week was working," he said.

"We started getting in sync and doing the things that we know. The character shown by the guys was amazing."

• Erasmus trimmed his squad to 33 players on Sunday for the remaining two Tests.

Prop Ox Nche, lock Jason Jenkins and loose forwards Kwagga Smith and Nizaam Carr have been released from the original squad chosen for a one-off Wales Test and the England series. Another prop, Trevor Nyakane, has been ruled out of the series with a rib injury.

Fullback Curwin Bosch, winger Travis Ismaiel and scrumhalf Cameron Wright have also been released while an injury sidelined France-based centre Francois Steyn last week.

AFP