The return of Franco Mostert at lock is the only change in the Springbok starting team for the second round Castle Lager Rugby Championship clash against Argentina on Saturday in Mendoza. The match in the Estadio Malvinas Argentina starts at 21h10 (SA time) and will be televised live on SuperSport1.
Mostert was rested for last weekend’s Springbok victory over the Pumas in Durban following his heavy workload so far this year. He comes back into the starting team for Saturday’s Test and will form a second-row partnership with Eben Etzebeth, which sees Pieter-Steph du Toit moving to the bench as cover.
There are two more changes amongst the forward replacements. RG Snyman (lock) makes a return to the match 23 in place of Marvin Orie, who is not touring, while Wilco Louw (prop) rotates places with Thomas du Toit.
SA Rugby’s Director of Rugby, Rassie Erasmus, explained the inclusion of Mostert in the starting fifteen: “Franco needed rest after Vodacom Super Rugby and the June internationals and we therefore didn’t consider him for Durban. He’s been our first-choice No 5 lock and that’s why is starting on Saturday.”
Erasmus kept his backline unchanged and also resisted the temptation to tweak his loose forward combination.
“I want to us to build more continuity and those combinations now have another opportunity to play together and gain more experience,” said Erasmus.
Regarding Saturday’s challenge against Argentina, Erasmus said: “We’ve always rated them as a very physical team and we felt the game (in Durban) was physical. They’re going to step it up and I think they will come hard at our mauling, scrums and the breakdowns.”
The Springboks travel to Mendoza on Friday where they will conclude their match preparations.
The Springbok team to face Argentina in Mendoza (in alphabetical order – name and surname, franchise/club, Test caps and points):
15. Willie le Roux (Wasps, England, 45, 55 – 11t)
14. Makazole Mapimpi (Cell C Sharks, 2, 15 – 3t)
13. Lukhanyo Am (Cell C Sharks, 4, 5 – 1t)
12. André Esterhuizen (Cell C Sharks, 3, 0)
11. Aphiwe Dyantyi (Emirates Lions, 4, 15 – 3t)
10. Handré Pollard (Vodacom Bulls, 30, 250 – 3t, 44c, 46p, 3d)
9. Faf de Klerk (Sale Sharks, England, 15, 10 – 2t)
8. Warren Whiteley (Emirates Lions, No 8, 18, 15 – 3t)
7. Siya Kolisi (captain, DHL Stormers, 32, 20 – 4t)
6. Francois Louw (Bath, England, 58, 45 – 9t)
5. Franco Mostert (Emirates Lions, 21, 5 – 1t)
4. Eben Etzebeth (DHL Stormers, 68, 15 – 3t)
3. Frans Malherbe (DHL Stormers, 20, 0)
2. Malcolm Marx (Emirates Lions, 15, 15 – 3t)
1. Tendai Mtawarira (Cell C Sharks, 102, 10 – 2t)
16. Bongi Mbonambi (DHL Stormers, 17, 5 – 1t)
17. Steven Kitshoff (DHL Stormers, 28, 5 – 1t)
18. Wilco Louw (DHL Stormers, 7, 0)
19. RG Snyman (Vodacom Bulls, 3, 0)
20. Pieter-Steph du Toit (DHL Stormers, 37, 20 – 4t)
21. Embrose Papier (Vodacom Bulls, 3, 0)
22. Lionel Mapoe (Emirates Lions, 13, 0)
23. Damian Willemse (DHL Stormers, 1, 0)