Springboks make 10 changes to team for Argentina Test

Johannesburg (AFP) –


South Africa have rested 10 of the team that started in a series-winning victory over the British and Irish Lions last weekend for a Rugby Championship opener against Argentina on Saturday.

The five Springboks retained are captain Siya Kolisi, fellow forwards Jasper Wiese, Lood de Jager and Eben Etzebeth and scrum-half Cobus Reinach.

Coach Jacques Nienaber hinted when naming a 42-man squad for matches on successive Saturdays against the Pumas that he would rest many of those who took part in the 2-1 series triumph over the Lions.

While many stars of three bruising battles with the Lions, like lock-cum-flanker Franco Mostert take a break, injuries ruled out scrum-half Faf de Klerk and flanker Pieter-Steph du Toit.

France-bassed hooker Joseph Dweba wins his first cap, taking over from Bongi Mbonambi, while recalled tighthead prop Wilco Louw also starts.

"Joseph is hard worker and a mobile hooker, which will be valuable traits against a physical side such as Argentina," said Nienaber.

"He has shown what he can do for Bordeaux-Begles and previously for the Cheetahs, so we are excited to see him make a step up to Test level."

Louw from English Premiership club Harlequins fell out of favour two seasons ago and was not part of the squad that won the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.

Nienaber has reverted to a 6-2 forwards-backs split on the bench with two starters, full-back Damian Willemse and inside centre Francois Steyn, able to cover multiple backline positions.

The eight replacements include 37-year-old fly-half Morne Steyn, who came on in the second half in Cape Town last Saturday and kicked the series-deciding penalty one minute from time.

It completed a remarkable double for the playmaker, who achieved the same feat in 2009 against the Lions, slotting a penalty at the death to win that series.

Team (15-1)

South Africa: Damian Willemse; Sibusiso Nkosi, Jesse Kriel, Francois Steyn, Aphelele Fassi; Elton Jantjies, Cobus Reinach; Jasper Wiese, Kwagga Smith, Siya Kolisi (capt); Lood de Jager, Eben Etzebeth; Wilco Louw, Joseph Dweba, Ox Nche

Replacements: Malcolm Marx, Trevor Nyakane, Vincent Koch, Marvin Orie, Marco van Staden, Dan du Preez, Herschel Jantjies, Morne Steyn