Another big week lay ahead for the Springboks as they head into their clash against Argentina at Nelson Mandela Bay on Saturday.
Head coach Jacques Nienaber made 11 changes to the team for this weekend, six in the backline and five upfront – with Nienaber bringing back a host of players who featured in the recent series win over the British & Irish Lions.
Marvin Orie whose made all five of his Test appearances off the bench starts at lock alongside Lood de Jager who earns his 50th test cap.
Cobus Reinach will start in the same backline that secured the Lions Series win in the final Test against the British & Irish Lions two weeks ago, which sees Handré Pollard back at flyhalf, Damian de Allende and Lukhanyo Am return to the midfield, and Makazole Mapimpi, Cheslin Kolbe (wings) and Willie le Roux (fullback) at their posts in the back three.
Jasper Wiese provides an immense amount of consistency in the forwards. Nienaber adds that having Duane Vermeulen in the team has added an enormous amount of value to the game while providing guidance to Wiese. “Duane provides learning to Jasper, where Jasper is a student of the game, “said Nienaber.
Also returning are Malcolm Marx (hooker) and Trevor Nyakane (prop) while Thomas du Toit (prop) will also start his first Test of the season. The only change in the loose trio is at flank, where Franco Mostert steps in for Kwagga Smith, who moves to the bench in place of the injured Marco van Staden.
Nienaber explained the level of injury to Marco Van Staden who was not available for selection as he was not able to join the team for practice by Monday or Tuesday. Van Staden was tackled during the Argentinian match and sustained an injury which prevented him from working with the coaches.
Herschel Jantjies sustained a hip pointer injury during the captain’s run and was not available as hip pointers take 2-3 weeks to recover.
In terms of plans after the Saturday and heading to Australasia, the testing regime and requirements for the Springboks were extremely stringent. No external players would be selected unless they had been presently in strict testing regime and bio bubble in South Africa. If selected the player would have to then go into a 14-day quarantine in Australia before he is able to join the squad.
Currently the Springboks will only be travelling with the team at hand and to place it in perspective, travelling would take place from Port Elizabeth to Cape Town, where the team will then join the Argentinian team before heading off to Australia. In short, unless a player comes from a secure and strict bubble, they would not be able to join the team.
The team still maintains the same outlook and that is to stick to what they believe in and not change their game plan. In terms of Argentina, the Springboks are still mentally prepared to face the challenge, as it is a tough team in terms of physicality and passion.
Springbok team to face Argentina at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium:
15 – Willie le Roux (Toyota Verblitz) ,14 – Cheslin Kolbe (Toulouse) , 13 – Lukhanyo Am (Cell C Sharks) , 12 – Damian de Allende (Munster) ,11 – Makazole Mapimpi (Cell C Sharks) , 10 – Handré Pollard (vice-captain, Montpellier) , 9 – Cobus Reinach (Montpellier) , 8 – Jasper Wiese (Leicester Tigers) , 7 – Franco Mostert (Honda Heat) , 6 – Siya Kolisi (captain, Cell C Sharks) , 5 – Lood de Jager (Sale Sharks) ,4 – Marvin Orie (DHL Stormers) ,3 – Thomas du Toit (Cell C Sharks), 2 – Malcolm Marx (Kubota Spears) , 1 – Trevor Nyakane (Vodacom Bulls)
16 – Bongi Mbonambi (DHL Stormers) ,17 – Steven Kitshoff (DHL Stormers) ,18 – Frans Malherbe (DHL Stormers), 19 – Nicolaas van Rensburg (Montpellier) ,20 – Kwagga Smith (Yamaha Júbilo) ,21 – Dan du Preez (Sale Sharks) ,22 – Jaden Hendrikse (Cell C Sharks), 23 – Damian Willemse (DHL Stormers)
Story: Fatima Said
Photo courtesy Gallo Images