South Africa change two for Argentina game
South Africa have made two personnel changes and one positional for the Rugby Championship return match against Argentina in Mendoza.
A serious ligaments injury to hooker Bismarck du Plessis early in the 27-6 Cape Town victory last Saturday ruled him out and his place goes to Adriaan Strauss as anticipated.
The other change is in the back row with Jacques Potgieter coming in as a flank in place of Willem Alberts, who switches to No.8 with Keegan Daniel demoted to the bench.
This change was not unexpected with slightly built Coastal Sharks captain Daniel a largely anonymous figure at Newlands and he was taken off early in the second half.
Right wing Bryan Habana and 208cm lock Andries Bekker – the tallest Springbok in history – passed fitness tests on ankle injuries sustained in the first round of the southern hemisphere championship.
Debutants Argentina suffered a major blow when fly-half Juan Martin Hernandez pulled out of the team on Wednesday with a hamstring injury sustained while training in Buenos Aires.
Before the withdrawal of Hernandez, Argentina made one change with Martin Rodriguez coming in at full-back for Lucas Gonzalez Amorosino and coach Santiago Phelan will name his seven replacements later from 10 players.
Amorosino made a costly mistake early in Cape Town, taking his eye off the ball and knocking it on near the Pumas try-line. The resultant scrum led to a free kick and slick handling sent full-back Zane Kirchner in at the corner.
Rodriguez played at inside centre in the second of two warm-up matches against French club Stade Francais, but lost out to Santiago Fernandez for the match in South Africa.
“I am greatly motivated. Although I have been playing centre throughout this year, it is a huge honour for me to be part of the national team,” France-based Rodriguez told reporters.
The Pumas have been training in Buenos Aires since returning from Cape Town via Sao Paulo and make the two-hour flight on Thursday to Mendoza at the foothills of the Andes.
© AFP 2013
South Africa: Zane Kirchner; Bryan Habana; Jean de Villiers (capt), Francois Steyn, Lwazi Mvovo; Morne Steyn, Francois Hougaard; Willem Alberts, Jacques Potgieter, Marcell Coetzee; Andries Bekker, Eben Etzebeth; Jannie du Plessis, Adriaan Strauss, Tendai Mtawarira
Replacements: Tiaan Liebenberg, Pat Cilliers, Flip van der Merwe, Keegan Daniel, Ruan Pienaar, Patrick Lambie, JJ Engelbrecht
Argentina: Martin Rodriguez; Gonzalo Camacho, Marcelo Bosch, Santiago Fernandez, Horacio Agulla; TBA, Nicolas Vergallo; Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe, Alvaro Galindo, Julio Farias Cabello; Patricio Albacete, Manuel Carizza; Juan Figallo, Eusebio Guinazu, Rodrigo Roncero
Replacements (from): Marcos Ayerza, Martin Bustos Moyano, Lucas Gonzalez Amorosino, Juan Imhoff, Martin Landajo, Tomas Leonardi, Juan Pablo Orlandi, Bruno Postiglioni, Nicolas Sanchez, Leonardo Senatore, Tomas Vallejos
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