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Four changes to Boks squad

The Boks play Argentina in the opening of the Castle Lager Rugby Championship at Soccer City.

Springbok Coach, Heyneke Meyer. Picture: Christa van der Walt/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The Springbok side for Saturday's Castle Lager Rugby Championship opener against Argentina at Soccer City shows four changes from the team which beat Samoa in June.

Two of the changes are in the starting XV.

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

At lock, Juandré 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 Gurthrö Steenkamp.

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

"It's great to have Duane back at No 8, while Juandré 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 Gurthrö 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 Argentinians are not in the Castle Lager 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 working on and continue where we left off against Samoa, looking for try-scoring opportunities in the process."

SPRINGBOK XV:

15 Le Roux

14 Basson

13 Engelbrecth

12 De Villiers (captain)

11 Habana

10 Steyn

9 Pienaar

8 Vermeulen

7 Alberts

6 Louw

4 Etsebeth

3 Du Plessis

2 Strauss Mtawarira

REPLACEMENTS:

16 Du Plessis

17 Steenkamp

18 Oosthuizen

19 Van der Merwe

20 Kolisi

21 Du Preez

22 Lambie

23 Serfontein

Find more content on the Bokke on EWN's Springbok Portal, click here.

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