Boks shuffle pack for Pumas rugby opener

South Africa have handed a first start to Lions prop Julian Redelinghuys for Saturday’s Rugby Championship opener against Argentina, one of five changes made by coach Allister Coetzee after their wobbly series win in June against Ireland.

Coetzee has also recalled experienced winger Bryan Habana, fullback Johan Goosen, flanker Oupa Mohoje and lock Lood de Jager for the Test at the Mbombela Stadium.

Redelinghuys, who has four caps off the bench, comes in as tight-head replacement for Frans Malherbe, who is struggling with a neck injury.

Lock De Jager has recovered from the calf injury he suffered in the 2-1 home series win against Ireland and takes over the No.5 jersey from Pieter-Steph du Toit, who will provide cover from the bench.

In the third change in the pack, Mohoje returns to the starting line-up as replacement for Siya Kolisi after recent ankle surgery.

In the backs, Springbok record try scorer Habana will run out in his 118th Test after being named on the left wing.

The versatile Goosen, who is equally at home at five-eighth and centre, has been entrusted with the fullback duties, the same position he played in his previous outing for the Boks in 2014 against Italy.

“Bryan still has a huge desire to play for the Springboks and he brings added leadership amongst our young backs,” Coetzee said.

“They (Argentina) are renowned for their strong scrummaging and mauling, very good defensively and have developed an attacking style of play which will test our defence.”


Johan Goosen, Ruan Combrink, Lionel Mapoe, Damian de Allende, Bryan Habana, Elton Jantjies, Faf de Klerk; Warren Whiteley, Oupa Mahoje, Francois Louw, Lood de Jager, Eben Etzebeth, Julian Redlinghuys, Adriaan Strauss (capt), Tendai Mtawarira. Res: Bongi Mbonambi, Steven Kitshoff, Vincent Koch, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Jaco Kriel, Rudy Paige, Juan de Jongh, Jesse Kriel

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