Which player in this week’s second-string Springbok team will use the match against Argentina as a springboard to the first-choice lineup?
Following a 2-1 series victory over the British & Irish Lions, Bok coach Jacques Nienaber announced an overhauled team for duty against the Pumas in South Africa’s Rugby Championship opener at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Saturday.
Only five of the players to start against the Lions in the third Test have retained their places as the world champions have pulled first-choice players off the front lines.
For the replacements, Argentina represent a rare and golden opportunity to show their wares and prove they deserve permanent promotion.
Stormers playmaker Damian Willemse, named to start at fullback, ranks among these hopefuls in a back three that includes the Sharks duo of finisher Sbu Nkosi and electric counter-attacker Aphelele Fassi.
Frans Steyn is in the twilight of his career but Jesse Kriel will be eager to prove he can match Lukhanyo Am, the best outside centre in the game today.
Cobus Reinach retains the starting job in the absence of the injured Faf de Klerk and he’ll be eager to close the gap by leapfrogging replacement halfback Herschel Jantjies on the Bok depth chart.
Elton Jantjies takes over from Handre Pollard and has the opportunity to establish a point of difference by proving he’s an ace goal-kicker.
Up front, Ox Nche will look to build on a promising hit-out against the Lions in the first Test of the series and negate the threat posed to his place in the pecking order by Trevor Nyakane’s emergence as a loosehead juggernaut off the bench.
Joe Dweba makes his Bok Test debut with the difficult task of standing up to a comparison with world-class rakes Bongi Mbonambi and Malcolm Marx, while Wilco Louw comes in from the cold with a shot to earn credit against Argentina’s infamous set piece.
And mini flanker Kwagga Smith gets yet another crack at mixing it with the big fellas, this time from the blindside berth in a mobile back row that includes Jasper Wiese, the three-Test No 8 eager to reward Nienaber with a performance that would make Duane Vermeulen proud.