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Springboks bring back Lion tamers for Pumas test

By Paul Smith
(Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

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South Africa have rung the changes for Saturday’s second test against Argentina.


The starting team contains 11 players who missed last week’s 32-12 win against the same opponents – six in the backline and five in the pack – while the bench also contains numerous new faces.

With coach Jacques Nienaber recalling a host of players who featured in the recent series win over the British & Irish Lions, only lock Lood De Jager, flanker Siya Kolisi, no.8 Jasper Wiese and scrum half Cobus Reinach retain their starting places.

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Jacques Nienaber unpicks South Africa’s first test display
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Jacques Nienaber unpicks South Africa’s first test display

Reinach is part of the same backline that contested the final Test against the British & Irish Lions two weeks ago. This sees Handré Pollard back at fly half, Damian de Allende and Lukhanyo Am return to the midfield while the back three consists of Makazole Mapimpi, Cheslin Kolbe and Willie le Roux.

Second row Marvin Orie earns a first Test start following five previous appearances off the bench.

Hooker Malcolm Marx and prop Trevor Nyakane have been promoted to the starting front row where they are joined by Thomas du Toit who makes his first test start of the season.

In the back row Franco Mostert steps in for Kwagga Smith, who moves to the bench in place of the injured Marco van Staden.


The replacements bench features a six-two split of forwards with the uncapped Nicolaas Janse van Rensburg joined by Janse van Rensburg plus front rowers Bongi Mbonambi, Steven Kitshoff and Frans Malherbe all of whom had a break last weekend.

The two backs on the bench are scrum half Jaden Hendrikse – who scored a try on debut last weekend – and Damian Willemse.

Nienaber said the changes are driven by a combination of factors.

“A few players didn’t play last week after a physically demanding Lions Series and are now back in the mix, while we also wanted to give a few players who have worked hard at training over the last two months a chance to get some valuable game time,” he said.


“This is a long season, so we need to get the balance right between building consistency in selection and in our performances, managing the players in terms of their workload, and building depth within our squad.”

Nienaber said he expects the Pumas to come out firing this week.

“Argentina will come hard at us, so we know we need to perform much better than last week to get the desired result,” he said.

“While we were pleased with the victory and to start our Castle Lager Rugby Championship campaign on a winning note, there was a lot of room for improvement in our performance.

“We’ve identified a few areas we need to work on if we want to defend our title successfully, and we will work on those aspects of our game at training this week.

“Argentina plays with a lot of passion, much like we do, so they’ll want to show their fighting spirit, which will set the scene for another challenging Test match between us.”

With a debate currently raging in Australia regarding ‘Giteau’s Law’ and the selection of foreign-based players the presence of ten overseas Springboks in this line-up is sure to prompt interest.

Springbok team to face Argentina at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium:

15 – Willie le Roux (Toyota Verblitz) – 65 caps, 60 pts (12t)

14 – Cheslin Kolbe (Toulouse) – 17 caps, 45 pts (9t)

13 – Lukhanyo Am (Cell C Sharks) – 18 caps, 20 pts (4t)

12 – Damian de Allende (Munster) – 50 caps, 30 pts (6t)

11 – Makazole Mapimpi (Cell C Sharks) – 17 caps, 75 pts (15t)

10 – Handré Pollard (vice-captain, Montpellier) – 52 caps, 502 pts (6t, 80c, 100p, 4d)

9 – Cobus Reinach (Montpellier) – 17 caps, 40pts (8t)

8 – Jasper Wiese (Leicester Tigers) – 4 caps, 0 pts

7 – Franco Mostert (Honda Heat) – 43 caps, 5pts (1t)

6 – Siya Kolisi (captain, Cell C Sharks) – 55 caps, 30 pts (6t)

5 – Lood de Jager (Sale Sharks) – 49 caps, 25 pts (5t)

4 – Marvin Orie (DHL Stormers) – 5 caps, 0 pts

3 – Thomas du Toit (Cell C Sharks, 12 caps, 0 pts)

2 – Malcolm Marx (Kubota Spears) – 38 caps, 30 pts (6t)

1 – Trevor Nyakane (Vodacom Bulls) – 47 caps, 5 pts (1t)


16 – Bongi Mbonambi (DHL Stormers) – 40 caps, 40 pts (8t)

17 – Steven Kitshoff (DHL Stormers) – 51 caps, 5pts (1t)

18 – Frans Malherbe (DHL Stormers) – 42 caps, 5pts (1t)

19 – Nicolaas van Rensburg (Montpellier) – uncapped

20 – Kwagga Smith (Yamaha Júbilo) – 11 caps, 5 pts (1t)

21 – Dan du Preez (Sale Sharks) – 5 caps, 0 pts

22 – Jaden Hendrikse (Cell C Sharks) – 1 cap, 5 pts (1t)

23 – Damian Willemse (DHL Stormers) – 11 caps, 5pts (1t)


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