Kirchner starts for Springboks against Pumas

Springbok head coach Heyneke Meyer has named his team to play Argentina in
Buenos Aires with former Bulls back Zane Kirchner at fullback.

The Springboks were beaten 25-37 in Durban last week which was their fourth
consecutive loss and injured have forced head coach Heyneke Meyer into changes.

Victor Matfield will captain the Springboks with Kirchner, Lwazi Mvovo, Pat
Lambie, Willem Alberts, Marcel van der Merwe, Adriaan Strauss and Trevor Nyakane
all getting their first starts of the season.

Jan Serfontein and Schalk Brits have also been included in the match-23 for
the first time this season.

A total of 28 players will travel to South America on Wednesday to play the
Pumas at the Velez Sarsfield on Saturday evening.

Kirchner takes over at fullback from the injured Willie le Roux; Jesse Kriel
moves from wing to centre for Jean de Villiers, with Mvovo getting his third
run of the season, in the No 14-jersey. Alberts replaces the injured Marcell
Coetzee in what will be his first Test in more than a year.

“It’s great to have Victor and Willem back from their injuries and
we’re all looking forward to going to Buenos Aires and improve on our
performance from last weekend,” said Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer.

“A few more players in our enlarged squad will get opportunities this
weekend and I’m excited to see what they can do in difficult circumstances,
playing in front of a very noisy crowd against a strong side away from home.

“Willem is the last of the loose forwards in the group to get game-time
but as we’ve missed big ball carriers upfront, we’d like to see
what Pieter-Steph can do in that position. He played at blindside flank for
the SA U20s in 2012 when they won the Junior World Championship and was one
of their outstanding performers.

“With Willem and Victor both returning from injury, we needed enough cover
on the bench – an experienced lock who can take over the calling of the
line-outs and a very strong ball-carrier – which is why we went with Flip
and Pieter-Steph.

“Our physicality was not what it should have been last week and we need
to make a big step up in that department.

“I also thought the front row of Trevor, Adriaan and Marcel finished the
match strongly in Durban so it made sense to retain them for this weekend, and
Bismarck deserves a break after playing a lot of rugby in the last month.

“We’re under no illusions how big the task is going to be over there
but it’s a challenge we have to embrace and make the best out of.”

Lood de Jager, Vincent Koch and Fourie du Preez were ruled out for this weekend.

De Jager injured a pectoral muscle at training on Tuesday afternoon, while Koch
took a knock to his knee at the same training session. They will remain in Durban
with the other injured players in the squad, Jannie du Plessis, Coenie Oosthuizen,
Francois Louw, Coetzee, Duane Vermeulen, De Villiers, JP Pietersen and Le Roux.

De Villiers, who fractured his jaw against the Pumas on Saturday, consulted
with a specialist earlier in the week, who confirmed that he will be out of
action for four to six weeks, during which time he can take part in limited
training.

With De Villiers out, Matfield resumes the captaincy role.

“Obviously it’s not ideal that we’ve had to use three captains
in our five matches this year, but it’s the hand we’ve been dealt
and it’s good to have experienced leaders in our squad, as they play a
very valuable role,” said Meyer.

South Africa

15 Zane Kirchner , 14 Lwazi Mvovo , 13 Jesse Kriel , 12 Damian de Allende ,
11 Bryan Habana , 10 Pat Lambie , 9 Ruan Pienaar , 8 Schalk Burger , 7 Willem
A

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