Goosen starts for Boks

Johan Goosen has been selected at fullback for the Springboks' opening Rugby Championship Test against Argentina in Nelspruit.

Goosen's inclusion is one of five changes to the starting lineup, with wing Bryan Habana, prop Julian Redelinghuys, flank Oupa Mohoje and lock Lood de Jager all returning to the side.

The 24-year-old Goosen replaces Willie le Roux in the No 15 jumper, the same position where he last played for the Boks against Italy in 2014. Elsewhere in the backline, Habana will run out in his 118th Test on the left wing in place of JP Pietersen.

Julian Redelinghuys earns his first Test start in the absence of injured Frans Malberhe at tighthead prop, De Jager has recovered from the calf injury he sustained against Ireland to take over the No 5 jersey from Pieter-Steph du Toit and Mohoje comes in to replace the injured Siya Kolisi.

Vincent Koch, Du Toit, Juan de Jongh and Jesse Kriel are all added to a revamped bench.

'Goosen has played consistently well for his French club and apart from his versatility, he gives us an extra option with his right-footed kicking abilities,' said coach Allister Coetzee. 'Bryan still has a huge desire to play for the Springboks and he brings added leadership amongst our young backs.

'Julian has played very well for the Lions this season and now gets a deserved starting chance after making an impact from the bench in the previous Tests. Oupa delivered a string of consistently good performances for the Cheetahs and he is a good option at the back of the lineout. Lood is paired with Eben [Etzebeth] now that he is fully fit again, while we are fortunate that Pieter-Steph can also play flank when the need arises, apart from his lock duties.'

Coetzee added that it was important for the Boks to start well against a difficult Argentina team.

'Argentina are one of the leading rugby nations if you consider that they have reached the semi-finals of two Rugby World Cups. They are renowned for their strong scrummaging and mauling, very good defensively and have developed an attacking style of play which will test our defence.'

Springboks – 15 Johan Goosen, 14 Ruan Combrinck, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Warren Whiteley, 7 Oupa Mohoje, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Julian Redelinghuys, 2 Adriaan Strauss (c), 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Subs: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 20 Jaco Kriel, 21 Rudy Paige, 22 Juan de Jongh, 23 Jesse Kriel.

Photo: David Rogers/Getty Images

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Mariette Adams