DURBAN – Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus has made only one change to his starting side to face the Pumas in Argentina on Saturday night. Lions Lock Franco Mostert returns to the starting line up in place of Stormers man, Pieter-Steph du Toit.
Mostert was rested last week in Durban after a heavy workload in Super Rugby, but slot straight back in, alongside Eben Etzbeth. Du Toit is benched, but comes in as cover for looseforward instead of Marco van Staden with RG Snyman, from the Bulls, the lock cover on the bench in place of Marvin Orie.
There is also a chance for Wilco Louw to play his first game of the Rugby Championship, he comes in for Thomas du Toit in a rotational switch.
Rassie Erasmus explained the inclusion of Mostert in the starting fifteen: “Franco needed rest after 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 team is:
15. Willie le Roux, 14. Makazole Mapimpi, 13. Lukhanyo Am, 12. André Esterhuizen, 11. Aphiwe Dyantyi, 10. Handré Pollard, 9. Faf de Klerk, 8. Warren Whiteley, 7. Siya Kolisi, 6. Francois Louw, 5. Franco Mostert, 4. Eben Etzebeth, 3. Frans Malherbe, 2. Malcolm Marx, 1. Tendai Mtawarira
16. Bongi Mbonambi, 17. Steven Kitshoff, 18. Wilco Louw, 19. RG Snyman, 20. Pieter-Steph du Toit, 21. Embrose Papier, 22. Lionel Mapoe, 23. Damian Willemse.