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Coetzee replaces injured Alberts in Springbok team

Marcell Coetzee replaces Willem Alberts for Saturday’s opener vs Argentina.

FILE: Coetzee’s place on the replacements bench goes to Teboho “Oupa” Mohoje, who made his Springbok debut in June against Scotland in Port Elizabeth. Picture: Aletta Gardner/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Marcell Coetzee has been called into the Springbok starting team in the place of the injured Willem Alberts for Saturday's Castle Lager Rugby Championship opener against Argentina in Pretoria.

Coetzee's place on the replacements bench goes to Teboho "Oupa" Mohoje, who made his Springbok debut in June against Scotland in Port Elizabeth.

Alberts was forced to withdraw from the match-day squad after he picked up a hamstring strain during the captain's run at Loftus Versfeld on Friday evening. He was given until Saturday morning to recuperate sufficiently, but the Springboks' medical team decided he would not be fit enough to face Argentina this weekend.

"It's never ideal losing an experienced member of your squad the day of a Test and I feel for Willem, but I also have the utmost confidence in Marcell, who has been part of our squad for the last three seasons, and Oupa, who impressed when he was given an opportunity in June," said Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer.

Alberts will not travel with the squad to Argentina. As a result, Xerox Golden Lions captain Warren Whiteley has been drafted into the squad for the tour to Argentina.

The 26-year-old Whiteley was a member of the Commonwealth Games gold medal winning squad in Glasgow earlier this month.

Revised Springbok team to face Argentina in Pretoria is:

Position Name Test Caps Test points

15 Willie le Roux 15 35

14 Cornal Hendricks 3 10

13 Damian de Allende 0 0

12 Jean de Villiers (captain) 96 125

11 Bryan Habana 97 275

10 Handré Pollard 1 13

9 Ruan Pienaar 76 130

8 Duane Vermeulen 19 10

7 Marcell Coetzee 16 10

6 Francois Louw 30 25

5 Lood de Jager 3 10

4 Bakkies Botha 79 35

3 Jannie du Plessis 54 5

2 Bismarck du Plessis (vice-captain) 60 45

1 Tendai Mtawarira 55 10

Replacements:

16 Adriaan Strauss 34 25

17 Trevor Nyakane 4 5

18 Frans Malherbe 2 0

19 Eben Etzebeth 23 0

20 Teboho "Oupa" Mohoje 1 0

21 Francois Hougaard 28 20

22 Morné Steyn 56 660

23 Jan Serfontein 12 5