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South Africa make four changes for Argentina

Duane Vermeulen starts at No.8 in place of Pierre Spies

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Article Published: Wednesday 14 August 2013

South African Rugby coach Heyneke Meyer has made four changes to the team that beat Samoa in June for this weekend's Rugby Championship opener against Argentina at Soccer City in Soweto.

Two of the changes are in the starting XV, both of them in the forwards, and two on the replacements bench.

Upfront, Duane Vermeulen is back in action after an injury lay-off and takes over from the injured Pierre Spies at No 8.

At lock, Juandre Kruger and Flip van der Merwe swap places, with the latter moving to the bench and the former starting next to Eben Etzebeth in the middle row.

On the bench, there is a return for the experienced duo of Fourie du Preez and Gurthro Steenkamp.

"Continuity has been key for us this year and that is why we've opted not to make too many changes to the team for Saturday's Test against Argentina," said Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer.

"It's great to have Duane back at No 8, while Juandre has been doing great work in the line-outs all season long. To have someone of the calibre of Flip on the bench, next to the experience Fourie and Gurthro bring to the team, is a great situation to be in."

Looking ahead to the Test, Meyer said: "It's a marvellous occasion and special to be part of a unique day where we can all celebrate the contributions former president Mandela made to South Africa.

"I think it was clear last year that the Argentineans are not in the Rugby Championship to make up the numbers, which means we will have to be focused on doing the little things right. They've been together for a few weeks now and will be a tough opponent on Saturday.

"We've now done the hard work on the training pitch and I can see the players are keen to get back onto the field for a Test. Now we need to put into practice what we've been

South Africa

15 Willie le Roux ,14 Bjorn Basson ,13 JJ Engelbrecht ,12 Jean de Villiers (captain) ,11 Bryan Habana ,10 Morne Steyn ,9 Ruan Pienaar ,8 Duane Vermeulen ,7 Willem Alberts ,6 Francois Louw,5 Juandre Kruger ,4 Eben Etzebeth ,3 Jannie du Plessis ,2 Adriaan Strauss,1 Tendai Mtawarira

Replacements :16 Bismarck du Plessis ,17 Gurthro Steenkamp ,18 Coenie Oosthuizen,19 Flip van der Merwe ,20 Siya Kolisi ,21 Fourie du Preez ,22 Pat Lambie ,23 Jan Serfontein

Rugby Championship Standings
Nation Games Points    
1. Australia 3 3 0 0 85 48 37 1 13
2. New Zealand 3 2 1 0 85 65 20 1 9
3. Argentina 3 1 2 0 64 98 -34 1 5
4. South Africa 3 0 3 0 65 88 -23 2 2
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