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Vermeulen, Kruger back for Boks

  • 14 Aug 2013

Duane Vermeulen and Juandré Kruger have returned to the Springbok starting XV for their Castle Rugby Championship match against Argentina at Soccer City on Saturday.

Vermeulen is back in action after an injury lay-off and takes over from the injured Pierre Spies at No 8, while Kruger comes in for Flip van der Merwe, who drops to the bench.

Among the substitutes, there is a return for the experienced duo of Fourie du Preez and Gurthrö Steenkamp.

'Continuity has been key for us this year and that is why we’ve opted not to make too many changes to the team for Saturday’s Test against Argentina,' said Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer. 'It’s great to have Duane back at No 8, while Juandré has been doing great work in the lineouts all season. To have someone of the calibre of Flip on the bench, next to the experience Fourie and Gurthrö bring to the team, is a great situation to be in.'

Springboks – 15 Willie le Roux, 14 Bjorn Basson, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Jean de Villiers (c), 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Willem Alberts, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Juandré Kruger, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Adriaan Strauss, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Subs: 16 Bismarck du Plessis, 17 Gurthrö Steenkamp, 18 Coenie Oosthuizen, 19 Flip van der Merwe, 20 Siya Kolisi, 21 Fourie du Preez, 22 Pat Lambie, 23 Jan Serfontein.

Stats and facts:

– The Springbok starting team boasts a total of 485 Test caps (300 in the backline and 185 in the forwards), while there are a further 208 caps worth of experience on the bench.

South Africa and Argentina have played each other 15 times since 1993, with the Springboks winning 14 and one was drawn. The Springboks have scored 587 points and 74 tries and conceded 294 points and 27 tries for an average score of 39-20.

South Africa and Argentina last met on 25 August 2012 in Mendoza during the inaugural Rugby Championship. The game ended in a draw, 16-16.

Jean de Villiers will extend his record as the most-capped Springbok centre, with 72 Tests in this position.

Morné Steyn will extend his record as the most-capped Springbok flyhalf, with 44 Tests in this position. If he scores a try, he will extend his record of seven Test tries as a flyhalf for South Africa.

Bryan Habana will extend his record as the most-capped Springbok wing, with 85 Tests in this position. He will also equal Joost van der Westhuizen’s record of six career appearances against Argentina and if he scores a try, Habana will add to his record of 50 Test tries for South Africa.

Bismarck du Plessis needs a try to become the sole record holder of career tries by a Springbok hooker in Tests. He shares this record of six with John Smit.

Fourie du Preez is back in the team after playing his last Test for South Africa in 2011 – against Australia on 9 October 2011 in Wellington in the quarter-final of the Rugby World Cup, which South Africa lost 9-11.

– The referee is Chris Pollock of New Zealand. This will be his second Test involving South Africa. On 23 July 2011 he was the man in the middle when South Africa lost 20-39 against Australia in Sydney.

Contepomi leads the Pumas

Meyer's men have much to prove

Springboks focus on their finishing

Argentina wary of the Flo factor

Photo: Lee Warren/Gallo Images

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