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Springbok team for Buenos Aires Test named

Victor Matfield will captain the Springboks against Argentina.

VICTOR Matfield will captain the Springboks against Argentina on Saturday, August 15, with Zane Kirchner, Lwazi Mvovo, Pat Lambie, Willem Alberts, Marcel van der Merwe, Adriaan Strauss and Trevor Nyakane all getting their first starts of the season.

Jan Serfontein and Schalk Brits have also been included in the match-23 for the first time this season.

28 players will travel to South America on Wednesday, August 12, to play the Pumas at Vélez Sarsfield in Buenos Aires on Saturday evening, SA time. The match-23 includes several injury forced changes from the side that lost to Argentina last weekend.

Kirchner takes over at fullback from the injured Willie le Roux, Jesse Kriel moves from wing to centre for Jean de Villiers, with Mvovo getting his third run of the season, in the No 14-jersey. Alberts replaces the injured Marcell Coetzee in what will be his first test in more than a year.

“It’s great to have Victor and Willem back from their injuries and we’re all looking forward to going to Buenos Aires and to improve on our performance from last weekend,” said Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer.

“A few more players in our enlarged squad will get opportunities this weekend and I’m excited to see what they can do in difficult circumstances, playing in front of a very noisy crowd against a strong side away from home.

“Willem is the last of the loose forwards in the group to get game-time but as we’ve missed big ball carriers upfront, we’d like to see what Pieter-Steph can do in that position. He played at blindside flank for the SA u.20s in 2012 when they won the Junior World Championship and was one of their outstanding performers.

“With Willem and Victor both returning from injury, we needed enough cover on the bench – an experienced lock who can take over the calling of the line-outs and a very strong ball-carrier – which is why we went with Flip and Pieter-Steph.

“Our physicality was not what it should have been last week and we need to make a big step up in that department.

“I also thought the front row of Trevor, Adriaan and Marcel finished the match strongly in Durban so it made sense to retain them for this weekend. Bismarck deserves a break after playing a lot of rugby in the last month.

“We’re under no illusions of how big the task is going to be over there but it’s a challenge we have to embrace and make the best of.”

Lood de Jager, Vincent Koch and Fourie du Preez were ruled out for this weekend. De Jager injured a pectoral muscle at training on Tuesday afternoon while Koch took a knock to his knee in the same training session. They will remain in Durban with the other injured players in the squad, Jannie du Plessis, Coenie Oosthuizen, Francois Louw, Coetzee, Duane Vermeulen, De Villiers, JP Pietersen and Le Roux.

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