Pollard cracks nod at flyhalf

Handré Pollard will start at flyhalf, while Damian de Allende will make his Test debut for the Springboks against Argentina at Loftus on Saturday.

Coach Heyneke Meyer has made a host of changes from the side who did duty during the June Tests. Most notable is the return of Jean de Villiers, who has recovered from an ankle injury to captain the Boks from inside centre. He will form a new midfield combination with debutant and Stormers teammate De Allende. Speaking on his decision to pair the two together, Meyer believes they'll combine well for the Boks as they have done in Super Rugby this season.

'Jean and Damian have played together before, albeit not this way around,' said Meyer. 'But Damian has experience of playing outside centre from his junior days and he got his break at inside centre when he had to step up in Jean’s place.'

Ruan Pienaar has been tasked with filling the void left by Fourie du Preez, while Francois Hougaard will offer scrumhalf cover from the bench.

In the forwards, Lood de Jager has won the battle for the No 5 jersey, where he will partner Bakkies Botha in an imposing second row. Meyer is confident that despite his tender years, he won't be overawed by the occasion.

'Lood has improved a lot over the last couple of months and although it’s a big ask for him to fill the void left by Victor, I know he has the goods to deliver. He will be well-supported by Duane Vermeulen in the lineouts though.'

Finally, Tendai Mtawarira has recovered from a neck injury to take his place besides the Du Plessis brothers in an all-Sharks front row.

Springboks – 15 Willie le Roux, 14 Cornal Hendricks, 13 Damian de Allende, 12 Jean de Villiers (c), 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Handré Pollard, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Willem Alberts, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Bakkies Botha, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Subs: 16 Adriaan Strauss, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Frans Malherbe, 19 Eben Etzebeth, 20 Marcell Coetzee, 21 Francois Hougaard, 22 Morné Steyn, 23 Jan Serfontein.

Rugby Championship teams (Round 1)

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