Tough-tackling flank Pablo Matera returns to the Argentina pack for the clash with the Springboks. Photo: Reuters

Argentina have made three changes to the team that defeated Georgia in June for a Rugby Championship first-round clash with South Africa in Port Elizabeth on Saturday.

In the backline, giant wing Emiliano Boffelli returns and Ramiro Moyano switches wings to the right in place of Matias Moroni, now a substitute.

Moyano scored a hat-trick in the 45-29 triumph over the Georgians in San Salvador de Jujuy, which followed two narrow home losses for the Pumas against England.

Lock Tomas Lavanini comes into the second row for Matias Alemanno, and flank Pablo Matera takes over from Rodrigo Baez in the back row.

Only three of the replacements in the Georgia match – props Lucas Noguera and Ramiro Herrera and hooker Julian Montoya – are retained by coach Daniel Hourcade.

Among the recalled replacements are Argentine rugby icon and utility back Juan Martin Hernandez and scrumhalf Tomas Cubelli.

Injury-prone Hernandez, who turned 35 this month, can play centre or flyhalf, and is occasionally rested in a bid to extend his international career.

After a spell in Australia with the Brumbies, Cubelli has changed Super Rugby sides by signing for the Buenos Aires-based Jaguares.

Agustin Creevy, widely regarded as one of the best hookers in the world, skippers the Pumas at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.

Although Argentina have lost 21 of 24 Tests against South Africa, they won two of the last three Rugby Championship meetings between the countries.

Argentina Team

15 Joaquin Tuculet, 14 Ramiro Moyano, 13 Matias Orlando, 12 Jeronimo de la Fuente, 11 Emiliano Boffelli, 10 Nicolas Sanchez, 9 Martin Landajo, 8 Leonardo Senatore, 7 Tomas Lezana, 6 Pablo Matera, 5 Tomas Lavanini, 4 Guido Petti, 3 Enrique Pieretto, 2 Agustin Creevy (captain), 1 Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro.

Bench: 16 Julian Montoya, 17 Lucas Noguera, 18 Ramiro Herrera, 19 Marcos Kremer, 20 Javier Ortega Desio, 21 Tomas Cubelli, 22 Juan Martin Hernandez, 23 Matias Moroni.