Junior Springboks coach Chean Roux has made eight changes to his side ahead of the clash against Argentina U20 in Stellenbosch on Wednesday.
Phendulani Buthelezi and Francke Horn – who led the side in their last two matches – have been named as co-captains. Fullback Qamani Kota and flyhalf David Coetzer will start their third games in a row, while winger Marnus Potgieter and centre Jay-Cee Nel are the other backs who retain their places in the starting team.
Among the forwards, Buthelezi, who will join forces with Horn and Sibusiso Sangweni in the loose trio, lock Janko Swanepoel and prop Nkosikhona Masuku retain their starting spots.
A notable inclusion among the replacements is Sharks flyhalf Boeta Chamberlain, who attended the U19 Junior Springbok assessment camp in November. He will make his first appearance for the team after being drafted into the squad this week as the coaches explore more options at flyhalf.
‘We are pleased that we have the opportunity to play three matches in the series, and with all respect to the other teams, I believe this one will be the toughest,’ said Roux.
‘We are busy building toward finding the best combinations, so we will continue experimenting in this game, and hopefully after this we will be able to finalise the group going to the UK.’
Roux said he is expecting a true test against the World Rugby U20 Championship hosts.
‘Argentina are physical, and they are currently trying to play a new style of rugby that is very fast. They also have a talented backline and they try to spread the ball across the field, so our defence will have to be up to standard.’
The clash marks the last chance for Roux to test the structures and new player combinations before their UK tour next week. The Junior Boks will face England and Wales.
‘We are working toward a game plan that can hopefully win us the World Rugby U20 Championship, and this is another step in that process,’ he said.
Georgia and the Namibia XV will kick off the final round of U20 International Series at 2:15pm, with the Junior Springboks taking on Argentina at 4pm.
Both games will be streamed live on DSTV Now, SuperSport.com and SuperSport YouTube, as well as on www.springboks.rugby.
Roux’s team will face Scotland in their opening World Rugby U20 Championship match in Rosario on 4 June, before taking on Georgia on 8 June and New Zealand on 12 June.
The semi-finals will be played on 17 June, and the final on 22 June.
Junior Springboks to play Argentina – 15 Qamani Kota, 14 Marnus Potgieter, 13 Jay Cee Nel, 12 Rikus Pretorius, 11 Caleb Dingaan, 10 David Coetzer, 9 Jaden Hendrikse, 8 Francke Horn (co-c), 7 Phendulani Buthelezi (co-c), 6 Sibusiso Sangweni, 5 Janko Swanepoel, 4 Elrigh Louw, 3 Asenathi Ntlabakanye, 2 Dameon Venter, 1 Nkosikhona Masuku.
Subs: 16 Joe van Zyl, 17 Hanro Jacobs, 18 Kudzwai Dube, 19 Emile van Heerden, 20 Dylan Richardson, 21 Jaco Labuschagne, 22 Boeta Chamberlain, 23 Sanele Nohamba, 24 Celimpilo Gumede, 25 James Mollentze, 26 Thaakir Abrahams.
Photo: Carl Fourie/Gallo Images