Africa-Press – South-Africa. While the starting XV remains unchanged from the one that recorded a comprehensive 24-8 win over Australia two weeks ago, the Springboks have opted for three changes on the bench in their team to face Argentina in the Rugby Championship on Saturday.
Those changes see Elrigh Louw replace Duane Vermeulen with Andre Esterhuizen in for Warrick Gelant and Faf de Klerk returning as scrumhalf cover in place of Cobus Reinach.
Springbok coach Nienaber said that an injury-free week meant that the Springbok management was able to keep their starting XV intact.
“We were in a fortunate position this week not to have any injuries, which allowed us the luxury of selecting the same starting team that ran out in our last match,” said Nienaber.
“We also feel that this team offers us what we need against a physical Argentina outfit.
“Our first victory in Australia since 2013 gave us a lot of confidence, and I have no doubt that will boost the players’ confidence going into this match, but that said we are expecting a bruising and intense battle against Argentina in front of a hostile crowd, and we have seen in the past how much confidence they draw from their fans at home.”
Commenting on the changes among the replacements, Nienaber said: “Our plan from the outset was to give a few players a chance to prove what they can do and to build their Test experience, especially with the Rugby World Cup a year away, and there is no better opportunity to do so than in a match which essentially amounts to a semi-final for us if we want to win the tournament.
“We have fantastic depth within our squad with youth and experience, and it requires a fine balancing act to select a squad that we think will be the best for each match, while at the same time giving most of the players an opportunity to play.”
The match on Saturday kicks-off at 21:10 (SA time).