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South Africa ring the changes for Rugby Championship opener against Argentina | Rugby Union News

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Last Updated: 11/08/21 11:33pm

Joseph Dweba will make his South Africa debut against Argentina

Joseph Dweba will make his South Africa debut against Argentina

South Africa have made 10 changes to their side to kick off the Rugby Championship against Argentina in Nelson Mandela Bay on Saturday, with hooker Joseph Dweba set to make his debut and players who did not feature against the British & Irish Lions given a run.

Coach Jacques Nienaber says they do not mean to “disrespect” Argentina with the changes from the team that won the Lions series 2-1, but with five Test matches on consecutive weekends, there is a concern over player welfare after the Springboks did not play for 20 months following their 2019 World Cup triumph.

“It is a long season, so its important that we manage the players well and rotate our squad to ensure that everyone gets sufficient game time and rest,” Nienaber said.

“We have a talented squad, and we are excited to see some of the players get a chance to show what they can do against a tough Argentinian outfit.

“Joseph is hard worker and a mobile hooker, which will be valuable traits against a physical side such as Argentina.”

Elton Jantjies starts at fly-half for South Africa

Elton Jantjies starts at fly-half for South Africa

Elton Jantjies has taken over at fly-half, with the hero from Saturday’s 19-16 win over the Lions, Morne Steyn, among the replacements. Cobus Reinach has retained his place at scrum-half.

Jesse Kriel and Frans Steyn make up the centre-pairing, while the back three contains wings Sbu Nkosi and Aphelele Fassi, and full-back Damian Willemse.

It is all change in the front row of the scrum with Dweba and props Wilco Louw and Ox Nche, but the locks are the same with Lood de Jager and Eben Etzebeth to feature.

The back row is made up of captain Siya Kolisi, fellow flanker Kwagga Smith and No 8 Jasper Wiese.

Nienaber confirmed key loose-forward Pieter-Steph du Toit will be out “for some time” after undergoing shoulder surgery following an injury picked up in the second Lions Test.

South Africa: 15 Damian Willemse, 14 Sbu Nkosi, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Frans Steyn, 11 Aphelele Fassi, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Cobus Reinach, 1 Ox Nche, 2 Joseph Dweba, 3 Wilco Louw, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 5 Lood de Jager, 6 Siya Kolisi (c), 7 Kwagga Smith, 8 Jasper Wiese

Replacements: 16 Malcolm Marx, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 Marvin Orie, 20 Marco van Staden, 21 Dan du Preez, 22 Herschel Jantjies, 23 Morne Steyn.

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