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Wednesday Aug 2, 2023

Esterhuizen to start as Springbok's name changed squad to face Argentina

South Africa have named their squad to start against Argentina in Buenos Aires this coming weekend. This will be the return match after the Springboks defeated the Pumas by just one point last Saturday.

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The starting team sees changes across the board as the Springboks look to test out the different combinations heading into this year’s World Cup.

The only player that keeps hold of his test shirt is Springbok number ten Manie Libbok, as he looks to continue his impressive form with a change in scrum half in Cobus Reinach.

The backline, like any with the Springbok tag, is brimming with talent and speed, backed up by the dynamic Damian Willemse at fullback. On the wings, 20-year-old Canan Moodie will look to put down a marker for his spot in the World Cup side, and Makazole Mapimpi will provide the World Cup-winning experience that has been so useful to the Springboks over the years.

Lukhanyo Am and Andre Esterhuizen make up an impressive centre partnership, combining power and creativity to cause havoc in the Pumas defence.

AVELLANEDA, ARGENTINA – SEPTEMBER 17: Andre Esterhuizen of South Africa is tackled during a Rugby Championship match between Argentina Pumas and South Africa Springboks at Estadio Libertadores de América on September 17, 2022 in Avellaneda, Argentina. (Photo by Marcelo Endelli/Getty Images)

At fly-half, Manie Libbok once again has a chance to showcase his playmaking skills as the only player to keep his shirt following last weekends match. With only 6 caps to his name, his new partnership with Cobus Reinach at scrum-half will be crucial in dictating the pace of the game.

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The forward pack will be led by the experienced hooker Bongi Mbonambi as captain, with Trevor Nyakane and Thomas du Toit backing him up on either side. Their physicality and set-piece expertise will be essential in gaining an advantage over a tough Argentinian scrum.

Marvin Orie and Jean Kleyn form an inexperienced second-row partnership, however their work rate and lineout prowess could be instrumental in securing quality possession for Reinach to use.

International latecomer Deon Fourie is joined in the back-row by the experienced Franco Mostert and Jasper Wiese to offer a perfect blend of ball-carrying ability, breakdown skills, and defensive tenacity.

Starting XV:

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15 – Damian Willemse (DHL Stormers) – 30 caps
14 – Canan Moodie (Vodacom Bulls) – 5 caps
13 – Lukhanyo Am (Cell C Sharks) – 34 caps
12 – Andre Esterhuizen (Harlequins) – 12 caps
11 – Makazole Mapimpi (Cell C Sharks) – 37 caps
10 – Manie Libbok (DHL Stormers) – 6 caps
9 – Cobus Reinach (Montpellier) – 25 caps
8 – Jasper Wiese (Leicester Tigers) – 21 caps
7 – Franco Mostert (Honda Heat) – 64 caps
6 – Deon Fourie (DHL Stormers) – 6 caps
5 – Marvin Orie (DHL Stormers) – 13 caps
4 – Jean Kleyn (Munster) – 1 cap
3 – Thomas du Toit (Cell C Sharks) – 17 caps
2 – Bongi Mbonambi (captain, Cell C Sharks) – 59 caps
1 – Trevor Nyakane (Cell C Sharks) – 59 caps

Replacements:
16 – Joseph Dweba (DHL Stormers) – 5 caps
17 – Gerhard Steenekamp (Vodacom Bulls) – uncapped
18 – Vincent Koch (Cell C Sharks) – 44 caps
19 – Jean-Luc du Preez (Sale Sharks) – 13 caps
20 – Evan Roos (DHL Stormers) – 4 caps
21 – Herschel Jantjies (DHL Stormers) – 23 caps
22 – Jesse Kriel (Canon Eagles) – 60 caps
23 – Kurt-Lee Arendse (Vodacom Bulls) – 9 caps

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