Smith back for Boks

The Springboks have made three changes for their match against Argentina in Salta on Saturday, with Juan Smith making his Test return.

The last of Smith's 69 Tests came against England at Twickenham in November 2010. The 33-year-old has replaced Marcell Coetzee at blindside flank, with Coetzee moving to the bench.

In other changes to the starting XV that beat the Pumas 13-6 at Loftus, Gurthö Steenkamp comes in at loosehead prop and Eben Etzebeth is back at No 4 lock.

Handré Pollard has retained the No 10 jersey, with Morné Steyn on the bench. He is joined there by Lwazi Mvovo, who replaces Jan Serfontein.

'We have a couple of options at blindside flank, but we’ve decided that this will be a great opportunity to give Juan a chance,' said Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer. 'If it wasn’t for an injury which kept him out in June, he would’ve played a part in the incoming series. He was one of Toulon’s best players after more than two years out of the game and helped them to win two major competitions.

'Apart from experience and leadership, Juan is a superb ball-carrier and also brilliant at the back of the lineouts, where we missed Willem Alberts last week. Our lineouts are an important attacking platform and we need to improve this week – I’m sure Juan will add another dimension.'

Meyer added: 'It’s also wonderful to have Eben back to full fitness and he’ll slot in at lock without any problems. Beast [Mtawarira] recently returned from an injury which kept him out for some time and it was decided to rotate him and Gurthrö mainly because of the short turn-around after our travel to Argentina.'

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 Juan Smith, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Gurthö Steenkamp.
Subs: 16 Adriaan Strauss, 17 Tendai Mtawarira, 18 Frans Malherbe, 19 Bakkies Botha, 20 Marcell Coetzee, 21 Francois Hougaard, 22 Morné Steyn, 23 Lwazi Mvovo.

Photo: Lee Warren/Gallo Images

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