Home Castle Lager Rugby Championship 2017 Hougaard get start in Salta

Hougaard get start in Salta


Experienced scrumhalf Francois Hougaard will make his 44th Test appearance for the Springboks when South Africa face Argentina in the high altitude of Salta on Saturday evening (SA time).

Hougaard comes into the Springbok starting fifteen in place of the injured Ross Cronje, who sustained an ankle injury in the Springboks’ 37-15 triumph over the Pumas last weekend in Port Elizabeth.

Springbok coach, Allister Coetzee, said that while the loss of Cronje is a big blow to the team, the Boks are in the fortunate position to call on the services of the very experienced Hougaard.

With Hougaard elevated to the starting team, Rudy Paige moves back into the match day squad as the replacement scrumhalf.

“Francois has played a lot of Test match rugby, his work ethic is second to none and he has been working hard up to now since joining the squad,” said Coetzee.

“Rudy made a good impact in the third Test against France and I expect the same from him this weekend.”

According to the Springbok coach, the entire match 23 played well in Port Elizabeth, making it easy to announce just the one forced change in a week that the team has a short turnaround due to the travel to South America. The consistent team selection also allows the Springboks to continue with their processes and keep building on their continuity.

Coetzee also pointed to the healthy competition for places in the team: “The players outside of the match 23 squad are all knocking on the door and that is a great position to be in.”

Coetzee said the Springboks have to deliver an even better performance in Salta, where a fierce Puma challenge is expected.

“This is going to be a different challenge but I have no doubt the players will benefit and grow from every tough experience,” said the Springbok coach.

“Our approach and preparation will be just the same as when we prepared for all our home Tests, and to control whatever we can control.

“We must again show patience, hunger and the desire to execute our game plan.”

The two teams have met twice in Salta before – in 2014, Jean de Villiers’ Springboks clinched a narrow 33-31 win over the Pumas at the high altitude venue, and in 2016 the Pumas recorded a famous 26-24 win over the South Africans.

The Springbok side to face Argentina in Salta:

15. Andries Coetzee (Emirates Lions), 4 caps, 0 points
14. Raymond Rhule (Toyota Cheetahs), 4 caps, 5 points (1 try)
13. Jesse Kriel (Vodacom Bulls), 20 caps, 25 points (5 tries)
12. Jan Serfontein (Vodacom Bulls), 30 caps, 20 points (4 tries)
11. Courtnall Skosan (Emirates Lions), 4 caps, points (1 try)
10. Elton Jantjies (Emirates Lions), 15 caps, 147 points (1 try, 26 conv, 30 pen)
9. Francois Hougaard (Worcester Warriors, England) 43 caps, 25 points (5 tries)
8. Uzair Cassiem (Toyota Cheetahs) 2 caps, 5 points (1 try)
7. Jaco Kriel (Emirates Lions), 9 caps, 0 points
6. Siya Kolisi (DHL Stormers), 20 caps, 5 points (1 try)
5. Franco Mostert (Emirates Lions), 11 caps, 0 points
4. Eben Etzebeth (captain, DHL Stormers), 58 caps, 15 points (3 tries)
3. Coenie Oosthuizen (Cell C Sharks), 27 caps, 20 points (4 tries)
2. Malcolm Marx (Emirates Lions), 6 caps, 5 points (1 try)
1. Tendai Mtawarira (Cell C Sharks), 91 caps, 10 points (2 tries)
16. Bongi Mbonambi (DHL Stormers), 9 caps, 0 points
17. Steven Kitshoff (DHL Stormers), 14 caps, 0 points
18. Trevor Nyakane (Vodacom Bulls), 29 caps, 5 points (1 try)
19. Pieter-Steph du Toit (DHL Stormers), 24 caps, 15 points (3 tries)
20. Jean-Luc du Preez (Cell C Sharks), 5 caps, 0 points
21. Rudy Paige (Vodacom Bulls) 8 caps, 5 points (1 try)
22. Curwin Bosch (Cell C Sharks), 1 cap, 0 points
23. Damian de Allende (DHL Stormers), 23 caps, 15 points (3 tries)

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  1. Same unbalanced loose forward trio and only two LO options… zero improvements.

  2. @cab:

    Damn right on JLDP starting… perhaps not even out of position at 8. In a perfect world I’d have him at 7, his brother at 8 and Kriel at 6 with Kolisi the impact player off the bench.

    Look at England and NZ… two huge, skillful, athletic players at 7/8 and a terrier at 6 and a dynamo off the bench.

    Look at when last the Bok’s were world-beaters… two huge, skilful, athletic players at 7/8 and a terrier at 6 with a dynamo off the bench.

    Too me this is non-negotiable in the modern game before I even consider the rest of the side.

    Look at Australia… they being playing an unbalanced trio for seasons now under Cheika and getting punished for it.

  3. @Aldo:

    Glass half full lol… me on the other hand ‘settled is not balanced’, ‘settled is not the best’…

  4. @cab:

    We’ve finally got a young, class, powerhouse of a blindsider back in the squad… whilst AC clearly has no respect for where his player’s pack down at come scrum time, as evident with Cassiem at 6 in the second half despite being a supposed ‘like for like’ replacement for WW… I’m more a traditionalist like the AB’s and ENG. JLDP plays at 7 for mine.

    But even so your choice would be an improvement even though I’m not sold moving forward. More power ball-in-hand and on the drive, four LO options.

    But now we’re going in circles… I want specialists… it’s where Kriel would also pip Kolisi for mine. Neither is an outright open-sider… but jeez he and Marx working in tandem at the breakdown has been a thing of beauty of late. I can only imagine how much better it would be with another bruiser cleaning out or counter-rucking like a malaka.

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