Hendrikse replaces injured Jantjies in late South Africa change

Johannesburg (AFP) –


World champions South Africa made a late matchday 23 change for a Rugby Championship opener against Argentina on Saturday with scrum-half Jaden Hendrikse replacing injured Herschel Jantjies on the bench.

An SA Rugby statement said a hip niggle had forced 2019 Rugby World Cup winner Jantjies to withdraw and join first choice Springboks scrum-half Faf de Klerk on the injury list.

Cobus Reinach will be the starting scrum-half against the Pumas at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Gqeberha (formerly Port Elizabeth) in the southern hemisphere championship.

Uncapped Hendrikse is enjoying a meteoric rise having been overlooked when the first national squad was named this year ahead of the recently completed British and Irish Lions.

He plays for the Sharks franchise and teammate Sanele Nohamba got the nod instead as one of understudies to De Klerk.

Hendrikse was then sent off playing for the Sharks against the touring Lions after striking Wales full-back Liam Williams with his elbow and suspended for three weeks.

But the half-back subsequently caught the eye of Springboks head coach Jacques Nienaber and was called up last week ahead of the series-winning victory over the Lions.

"We are confident Jaden will slot into the squad and easily adapt to our structures if he takes the field," said Nienaber ahead of the 1705 local time (1505 GMT) kick-off.

Revised South Africa team (15-1)

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, Jaden Hendrikse, Morne Steyn

Coach: Jacques Nienaber (RSA)