Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus has named the uncapped duo of Damian Willemse and Marco van Staden on the bench for the Test against Argentina in Durban.
The 20-year-old Willemse will make his Test debut if he comes off the bench on Saturday. While he has played a lot of his rugby at flyhalf, Erasmus is keen to see what the youngster can do at fullback.
Makazole Mapimpi will start at No 14 in place of the injured S’bu Nkosi. The latter started all three Tests against England, but has since been sidelined with an ankle injury.
André Esterhuizen and Lukhanyo Am both made their first starts for the Boks this past June. This Saturday, however, the Sharks centres will feature as a Test combination for the first time.
The biggest changes are up front. Warren Whiteley, Francois Louw, Eben Etzebeth and Malcolm Marx will make their first appearances for the Boks this season.
As expected, Erasmus has moved captain Siya Kolisi to the blindside flank. Louw will start at No 6 and Whiteley at No 8. Van Staden will make his Test debut if he gets onto the park this Saturday.
Erasmus has opted to include Marvin Orie and Lionel Mapoe – who didn’t feature in the series against England – on the bench for the clash against Argentina.
Elton Jantjies, RG Snyman and Franco Mostert have dropped out of the match-day squad. This past week, Erasmus spoke about managing the players’ game time.
Springboks – 15 Willie le Roux, 14 Makazole Mapimpi, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 André Esterhuizen, 11 Aphiwe Dyantyi, 10 Handré Pollard, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Warren Whiteley, 7 Siya Kolisi (c), 6 Francois Louw, 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Beast Mtawarira.
Subs: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Thomas du Toit, 19 Marvin Orie, 20 Marco van Staden, 21 Embrose Papier, 22 Lionel Mapoe, 23 Damian Willemse.
— SA Rugby magazine (@SARugbymag) August 16, 2018
Photo: Chris Ricco/BackpagePix