South Africa vs Argentina: Rugby Championship teams named

The Rugby Championship
by AFP

South Africa coach Allister Coetzee has recalled play-anywhere back Johan Goosen for a Rugby Championship first-round clash with Argentina in Nelspruit Saturday.

The 24-year-old from French Top 14 champions Racing 92, who can operate at full-back, centre and fly-half, last played for the Springboks in an away victory over Italy two seasons ago.

Poor form by long-time incumbent Willie le Roux in an unimpressive mid-year home series victory over Ireland prompted Coetzee to bring in Goosen at full-back.

"Johan has played consistently well for his French club and apart from his versatility, he gives us an extra option with his right-foot kicking abilities," said the coach.

Bryan Habana is making his Springboks return. Photo: Getty ImagesCoetzee has made five starting line-up changes to the team that edged Ireland in Port Elizabeth during June for a 2-1 series success.

Veteran winger Bryan Habana from French giants Toulon, lock Lood de Jager and flanker Teboho 'Oupa' Mohoje have also been recalled.  

Habana, part of the 2007 Rugby World Cup-winning team, will earn his 118th cap after not being considered for the Ireland Tests.

"Bryan still has a huge desire to play for the Springboks and brings added leadership among our young backs," the coach explained.

There is a first start for tighthead prop Julian Redelinghuys, one of six stars from 2016 Super Rugby runners-up Golden Lions in the side.

"Julian has played very well for the Lions this season and gets a deserved starting chance after making an impact from the bench in previous Tests," said Coetzee.

Julian Redelinghuys has been selected for South Africa. Photo: Getty ImagesTwo alterations were injury related with prop Frans Malherbe and flanker Siya Kolisi sidelined while Le Roux, winger JP Pietersen and lock Pieter-Steph du Toir drop out.

Coetzee has been tasked with changing a previously largely white team to make it more representative of a country whose population is 90 percent black.

Five Springbok starters against Argentina and three replacements are black as the coach builds toward a government demand that half the 2019 Rugby World Cup squad be black.

 Title-holders Australia host world champions New Zealand in Sydney on Saturday in the other first-round match.

South Africa team to face Argentina  

Team (15-1)

Johan Goosen; Ruan Combrinck, Lionel Mapoe, Damian de Allende, Bryan Habana; Elton Jantjies, Faf de Klerk; Warren Whiteley, Oupa Mohoje, Francois Louw; Lood de Jager, Eben Etzebeth; Julian Redelinghuys, Adriaan Strauss (capt), Tendai Mtawarira


Bongi Mbonambi, Steven Kitshoff, Vincent Koch, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Jaco Kriel, Rudy Paige, Juan de Jongh, Jesse Kriel

Argentina team to face South Africa

Team (15-1)

Joaquin Tuculet; Santiago Cordero, Matias Orlando, Juan Martin Hernandez, Manuel Montero; Nicolas Sanchez, Martín Landajo; Facundo Isa, Juan Manuel Leguizamon, Pablo Matera; Tomas Lavanini, Matías Alemanno; Ramiro Herrera, Agustín Creevy (capt), Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro


Julian Montoya, Felipe Arregui, Enrique Pieretto, Guido Petti, Javier Ortega Desio, Tomas Cubelli, Santiago Gonzalez Iglesias, Ramiro Moyano