South Africa
Matfield to captain Boks as Meyer rings changes
ESPN Staff
August 12, 2015
Preview: Argentina v South Africa

Victor Matfield returns to captain a Springboks side featuring eight changes to the outfit beaten by Argentina in Durban last week.

The veteran lock comes straight into the starting side after a few weeks out with injury while coach Heyneke Meyer has taken a heavy hand elsewhere at the selection table for this weekend's return clash with the Pumas in Buenos Aires.

There are three changes to the backline with Zane Kirchner, Lwazi Mvovo and Pat Lambie earning starts at full-back, wing and fly-half respectively; Mvovo's inclusion seeing Jesse Kriel switch back to outside-centre in place of the injured Jean de Villiers.

Meanwhile up front, Willem Alberts will start at breakaway for the injured Marcell Coetzee while Trevor Nyakane, Adriaan Strauss and Marcel van der Merwe form a new-look front-row.

Meyer said he was looking for a big step up in physicality following last week's shock 37-25 loss in Durban.

"It's great to have Victor and Willem back from their injuries and we're all looking forward to going to Buenos Aires and improve on our performance from last weekend," Meyer said. "A few more players in our enlarged squad will get opportunities this weekend and I'm excited to see what they can do in difficult circumstances, playing in front of a very noisy crowd against a strong side away from home.

"Willem is the last of the loose forwards in the group to get game-time but as we've missed big ball carriers upfront, we'd like to see what Pieter-Steph can do in that position. He played at blindside flank for the SA U20s in 2012 when they won the Junior World Championship and was one of their outstanding performers.

"With Willem and Victor both returning from injury, we needed enough cover on the bench - an experienced lock who can take over the calling of the line-outs and a very strong ball-carrier - which is why we went with Flip and Pieter-Steph.

"Our physicality was not what it should have been last week and we need to make a big step up in that department."

South Africa: Zane Kirchner, Lwazi Mvovo, Jesse Kriel, Damian de Allende, Bryan Habana, Pat Lambie, Ruan Pienaar; Schalk Burger, Willem Alberts, Heinrich Brussow, Victor Matfield, Eben Etzebeth, Marcel van der Merwe, Adriaan Strauss, Trevor Nyakane. Replacements: Schalk Britz, Tendai Mtawarira, Frans Malherbe, Flip van der Merwe, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Cobus Reinach, Handre Pollard, Jan Serfontein.

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