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JOHANNESBURG — As to be expected, the Springbok team has been pruned for the trip to Argentina for Saturday’s Rugby Championship Test match in Mendoza. The men left behind were unlikely to feature in Rassie Erasmus’s plans, though Jesse Kriel might feel unlucky not to get on the plane as he has been one of the season’s in-form centres. However, Lukhanyo Am and André Esterhuizen did nothing in Saturday’s Test in Durban to suggest their positions were in jeopardy. After Handré Pollard’s dismal day with the boot, it’ll be interesting to see if Erasmus goes for Elton Jantjies at flyhalf. The Lions player wasn’t in the squad for the past Test match, though Erasmus has always indicated he’s rotating his flyhalves. It might be a little early for Damian Willemse to get a run-on start, and nerves certainly had a significant impact on the promising youngster’s brief appearance at King’s Park. – David O’Sullivan
From SA Rugby
Rassie Erasmus, the SA Rugby Director of Rugby, has named a squad of 28 players for the visit to Argentina, where the Springboks will face the Pumas in Mendoza next Saturday evening (SA time).
South Africa and Argentina meet on Saturday, 25 August, for the second time in as many weeks in the opening stages of the Castle Larger Rugby Championship.
Yesterday the Springboks defeated the Pumas 34-21 in a bonus-point win in the first encounter between the sides in Durban.
Erasmus trimmed the forwards by three players, namely Jean-Luc du Preez (loose forward), Sikhumbuzo Notshe (loose forward) and Marvin Orie (lock). Uncapped flanker Cyle Brink underwent surgery earlier in the week to repair damage suffered to his injured knee.
Squad members Ross Cronje (scrumhalf), Jesse Kriel (centre) and Lwazi Mvovo (wing) are the three backs not travelling over to South America.
The Springboks have a recovery day on Sunday in Durban, while Siya Kolisi and the squad are due to fly out to Argentina on Monday morning.
Erasmus will announce his match day squad on Thursday and Saturday’s away match will be televised live on SuperSport 1 from 21h10 (SA time).
The Springbok travelling squad for the Castle Lager Rugby Championship match in Argentina (in alphabetical order – name and surname, franchise/club, Test caps and points):
Thomas du Toit (Prop, Cell C Sharks, 5, 0)
Pieter-Steph du Toit (Lock / Loose forward, DHL Stormers, 37, 20 – 4t)
Eben Etzebeth (Lock, DHL Stormers, 68, 15 – 3t)
Steven Kitshoff (Prop, DHL Stormers, 28, 5 – 1t)
Siya Kolisi (Captain – Loose forward, DHL Stormers, 32, 20 – 4t)
Francois Louw (Loose forward, Bath, England, 58, 45 – 9t)
Wilco Louw (Prop, DHL Stormers, 7, 0)
Frans Malherbe (Prop, DHL Stormers, 20, 0)
Malcolm Marx (Hooker, Emirates Lions, 15, 15 – 3t)
Bongi Mbonambi (Hooker, DHL Stormers, 17, 5 – 1t)
Franco Mostert (Lock, Gloucester, England, 21, 5 – 1t)
Tendai Mtawarira (Prop, Cell C Sharks, 102, 10 – 2t)
RG Snyman (Lock, Vodacom Bulls/Honda Heat, Japan, 3, 0)
Akker van der Merwe (Hooker, Cell C Sharks, 3, 0)
Marco van Staden (Loose forward, Vodacom Bulls, 1, 0)
Warren Whiteley (No 8, Emirates Lions, 18, 15 – 3t)
Lukhanyo Am (Centre, Cell C Sharks, 4, 5 – 1t)
Faf de Klerk (Scrumhalf, Sale Sharks, England, 15, 10 – 2t)
Aphiwe Dyantyi (Wing, Emirates Lions, 4, 15 – 3t)
André Esterhuizen (Centre, Cell C Sharks/Sanix Blues, Japan, 3, 0)
Elton Jantjies (Flyhalf, Emirates Lions, 26, 215 – 2t, 41c, 41p)
Willie le Roux (Fullback, Wasps, England, 44, 55 – 11t)
Makazole Mapimpi (Wing, Cell C Sharks, 2, 15 – 3t)
Lionel Mapoe (Centre, Emirates Lions, 13, 0)
Embrose Papier (Scrumhalf, Vodacom Bulls, 3, 0)
Handré Pollard (Flyhalf, Vodacom Bulls, 30, 250 – 3t, 44c, 46p, 3d)
Ivan van Zyl (Scrumhalf, Vodacom Bulls, 3, 0)
Damian Willemse (Flyhalf, DHL Stormers, 1, 0)