Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber rings in the changes for second Test against Argentina
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CAPE TOWN - Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber has made 11 changes to the side that beat Argentina 32-12 in their Rugby Championship-opener last week.
The team for the second Test against Los Pumas features six changes to the backline and five upfront – with Nienaber bringing back a host of players who featured in the Series win over the British & Irish Lions.
There are a total of 17 changes to the matchday 23. The only players who will start again this weekend are Lood de Jager (in his 50th Test), Siya Kolisi, last week’s Man of the Match Jasper Wiese, and Cobus Reinach.
In the backline, Handré Pollard is back at flyhalf, Damian de Allende and Lukhanyo Am return to the midfield, and Makazole Mapimpi, Cheslin Kolbe and Willie le Roux are back in the starting back three.
Marvin Orie gets his first Test start, while Malcolm Marx and Trevor Nyakane have also been promoted to the starting team, where Thomas du Toit will also start his first Test of the season.
In the loose trio, Franco Mostert comes in for Kwagga Smith, who moves to the bench in place of the injured Marco van Staden.
The bench features a six-two split, with Nicolaas Janse van Rensburg joined by Bongi Mbonambi , Steven Kitshoff and Frans Malherbe, who all return after getting a break last week.
“A few players didn’t play last week after a physically demanding Lions Series, and are now back in the mix, while we also wanted to give a few players who have worked hard at training over the last two months a chance to get some valuable game time,” said Nienaber.
“This is a long season, so we need to get the balance right between building consistency in selection and in our performances, managing the players in terms of their workload, and building depth within our squad.”
Shifting his focus to the Test, the Bok coach said:
“Argentina will come hard at us, so we know we need to perform much better than last week to get the desired result.
“While we were pleased with the victory and to start our Rugby Championship campaign on a winning note, there was a lot of room for improvement in our performance.
“We’ve identified a few areas we need to work on if we want to defend our title successfully, and we will work on those aspects of our game at training this week.
“Argentina plays with a lot of passion, much like we do, so they’ll want to show their fighting spirit, which will set the scene for another challenging Test match between us.”
Springbok team to face Argentina at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium:
15 Willie le Roux 14 Cheslin Kolbe 13 Lukhanyo Am 12 Damian de Allende 11 Makazole Mapimpi 10 Handré Pollard 9 Cobus Reinach 8 Jasper Wiese 7 Franco Mostert 6 Siya Kolisi 5 Lood de Jager 4 Marvin Orie 3 Thomas du Toit 2 Malcolm Marx 1 Trevor Nyakane
Replacements: 16 Bongi Mbonambi 17 Steven Kitshoff 18 Frans Malherbe 19 Nicolaas van Rensburg 20 Kwagga Smith 21 Dan du Preez 22 Jaden Hendrikse 23 Damian Willemse