South African Rugby

Saturday, August 09, 2008

South Africa ,Argentina Preview

South Africa and Argentina meet again at the Coca-Cola Park as the boks focus on the upcoming home section of the Tri-Nations clash with New Zealand next weekend.

Todays clash has been billed as a rematch between the two 2007 World Cup semi-finalists as the Pumas attempt to gain revenge following the 37-13 defeat.

Argentina coach Santiago Phelan is rebuilding his squad, and is preparing for just his fourth game at the helm since taking over from Marcelo Loffreda.

The Pumas have lost all previous 12 Tests against the Boks ,the biggest area of concern for Phelan is at scrum-half after a recent failure to fill the void left by the retirement of Augustin Pichot last year.

The nation ranked fourth in the IRB world rankings are also without star man Juan Martin Hernandez due to injury - Felipe Contepomi taking up fly-half duties.

Contepomi said: "I believe the Springboks are the best team in the world at the moment, they are the world champions and they have started well in the Tri-Nations”.

"It is an away game for us and you wouldn't choose to play the best team in the world, when most of your players are in the middle of their pre-season, as your first outing under the new rules.

Springbok coach Peter de Villiers has resisted the temptation to make changes as his men look to play their way into form ahead of their Tri-Nations battle with the All Blacks on August 16 ,lets hope there an no injuries the pumas play a physical game.

With Schalk Burger failing to prove his fitness De Villiers has been forced to field a new-look back row unit of Luke Watson, Pierre Spies and Juan Smith.

Conrad Jantjes and Jean de Villiers are included in a Bok’s back-line as Victor Matfield continues captaincy duties amongst a strong South Africa pack.

South Africa:

15 Conrad Jantjes,14 JP Pietersen, 13 Adrian Jacobs, 12 Jean de Villiers, 11 Jongi Nokwe, 10 Butch James; 1 Tendai Mtawarira, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 3 CJ van der Linde, 4 Bakkies Botha, 5 Victor Matfield (c), 6 Luke Watson, 7 Juan Smith, 8 Pierre Spies, 9 Enrico Januarie.

Replacements: 16 Adriaan Strauss, 17 Brian Mujati, 18 Andries Bekker, 19 Joe van Niekerk, 20 Fourie du Preez, 21 Jaque Fourie, 22 Percy Montgomery.

Argentina: 15 Bernardo Stortoni, 14 José María Núñez Piossek, 13 Federico Martín Aramburu, 12 Miguel Avramovic, 11 Horacio Agulla, 10 Felipe Contepomi (c); 1 Rodrigo Roncero, 2 Mario Ledesma, 3 Pedro Ledesma, 4 Rimas Álvarez Kairelis, 5 Patricio Albacete, 6 Martín Durand, 7 Juan Martín Fernández Lobbe, 8 Juan Manuel Leguizamón, 9 Nicolás Vergallo.

Replacements: 16 Alberto Vernet Basualdo, 17 Marcos Ayerza, 18 Esteban Lozada, 19 Álvaro Galindo, 20 Alfredo Lalanne, 21 Benjamín Urdapilleta, 22 Rafael Carballo.

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