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Springboks head coach Allister Coetzee has named Johan Goosen at fullback for this weekend’s Rugby Championship opening match against Argentina at the Mbombela Stadium.
Goosen comes into the starting line up replacing regular Springbok Willie le Roux who has agreed to play in Japan and in England.
Coetzee has also included Julian Redelinghuys, Bryan Habana, Oupa Mohoje and Lood de Jager in the starting side.
Redelinghuys, capped four times, comes in at tighthead as replacement for the injured Frans Malherbe, who is struggling with a neck injury.
Lock De Jager has recovered from the calf injury he sustained against Ireland in June and takes over the No 5 jersey from Pieter-Steph du Toit, who will provide cover from the bench.
The third change in the pack sees the return to the starting line-up of Mohoje as replacement for Siya Kolisi, who recently underwent ankle surgery.
In the back division, Springbok record try scorer Bryan Habana will run out in his 118th Test after he was named as left wing, while he was also confirmed as the Springbok vice-captain.
The versatile Goosen, who is equally at home at flyhalf and centre, has been entrusted with the fullback duties, the same position where he played in his previous outing for the Boks, in 2014 against Italy.
Springbok coach Allister Coetzee said the experienced Habana still has a lot to offer and brings a wealth of experience to an otherwise young backline.
“Bryan still has a huge desire to play for the Springboks and he brings added leadership amongst our young backs,” said Coetzee.
“Goosen has played consistently well for his French club and apart from his versatility, he gives us an extra option with his right-footed kicking abilities.”
Regarding the changes in the forwards, Coetzee said: “Julian has played very well for the Emirates Lions this season and now gets a deserved starting chance after making an impact from the bench in the previous Tests.
“Oupa has shrugged off his niggling injuries, delivered a string of consistently good performances for the Toyota Cheetahs and he is a good option at the back of the line-out and always plays well for the Springboks. We also have the option of Jaco Kriel who can make an impact from the bench.
“Lood is paired with Eben now that he is fully fit again while we are fortunate that Pieter-Steph can also play flank when the need arises, apart from his lock duties.”
The Bok coach said he expects a big impact from the bench and added that it was important for the South Africans to make a good start at Mbombela Stadium, but he cautioned that the Pumas will be a very difficult opponent.
“Argentina are one of the leading rugby nations if you consider that they have reached the semi-finals of two Rugby World Cups,” said Coetzee.
“They are renowned for their strong scrummaging and mauling, very good defensively and have developed an attacking style of play which will test our defence.”
15 Johan Goosen, 14 Ruan Combrinck, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Elton Jantjies, Faf de Klerk, 8 Warren Whiteley, 7 Teboho Mohoje, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Julian Redelinghuys, 2 Adriaan Strauss (c) , Tendai Mtawarira
Replacements: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 20 Jaco Kriel, 21 Rudy Paige, 22 Juan de Jongh, 23 Jesse Kriel
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