Springboks unchanged for Argentina in Rugby Championship

September 13, 2022 GMT
South Africa's Canan Moodie, second right, races away to score a try against Australia during their Championship Rugby test match in Sydney, Saturday, Sept. 3, 2022. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)
South Africa's Canan Moodie, second right, races away to score a try against Australia during their Championship Rugby test match in Sydney, Saturday, Sept. 3, 2022. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)
South Africa's Canan Moodie, second right, races away to score a try against Australia during their Championship Rugby test match in Sydney, Saturday, Sept. 3, 2022. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)
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South Africa's Canan Moodie, second right, races away to score a try against Australia during their Championship Rugby test match in Sydney, Saturday, Sept. 3, 2022. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)
1 of 4
South Africa's Canan Moodie, second right, races away to score a try against Australia during their Championship Rugby test match in Sydney, Saturday, Sept. 3, 2022. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — South Africa will field an unchanged starting 15 for its Rugby Championship match against Argentina as coach Jacques Nienaber opted for rare continuity on Tuesday having rotated his players for much of the season.

The only changes for the Springboks were on the bench, where loose forward Elrigh Louw, scrumhalf Faf de Klerk and back Andre Esterhuizen are in for Duane Vermeulen, Cobus Reinach and Warrick Gelant.

That means a second test on the wing for teenager Canan Moodie, who made a try-scoring debut in the 24-8 win over Australia in Sydney just over a week ago.

Damian Willemse starts again at flyhalf in place of injured regular No. 10 Handré Pollard, who has returned home with a knee problem.

Backup flyhalf Elton Jantjies was sent home from Argentina after allegations in the South African media that he was involved in an affair with team dietician Zeenat Simjee. She was also sent home.

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“No team protocols were breached, but the individuals are returning to South Africa to attend to these personal reports and to eliminate any distractions to the team’s preparations for the test against Argentina,” SA Rugby said.

Nienaber said the aim for the world champion Springboks was to build on a first win in Australia in nine years when they face Argentina in Buenos Aires on Saturday.

“That said we are expecting a bruising and intense battle against Argentina in front of a hostile crowd, and we have seen in the past how much confidence they draw from their fans at home.”

The Rugby Championship standings are tight after four of six rounds, with titleholder New Zealand top on 10 points and South Africa, Argentina and Australia all on nine points. Each team has won two and lost two.

Saturday’s Springboks-Pumas test has been moved to a different stadium in Buenos Aires because of problems with the field at the initial venue.

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South Africa: Willie le Roux, Canan Moodie, Jesse Kriel, Damian de Allende, Makazole Mapimpi, Damian Willemse, Jaden Hendrikse; Jasper Wiese, Franco Mostert, Siya Kolisi (captain), Lood de Jager, Eben Etzebeth, Frans Malherbe, Malcolm Marx, Steven Kitshoff. Reserves: Deon Fourie, Ox Nche, Trevor Nyakane, Elrigh Louw, Kwagga Smith, Faf de Klerk, Andre Esterhuizen, Frans Steyn.

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