Predicting the Springboks side that will face Argentina in their Rugby Championship clash

Springboks predicted team image 24 July 2023.jpg Credit: Alamy

Springboks predicted team image 24 July 2023.jpg Credit: Alamy

With a highly anticipated Rugby Championship game against Argentina taking place this weekend, we’ve taken a stab at predicting South Africa’s line-up.

After kickstarting their campaign with an impressive win over the Wallabies in Pretoria, the Springboks lost their next encounter against the All Blacks in Auckland.

Bok head coach Jacques Nienaber is set to announce his team on Tuesday and we’ve attempted to predict what he will come up with as we weigh up injury returnees, rotation and form.

Predicted Springboks team to face Los Pumas

15 Damian Willemse: Although Willie le Roux wore the number 15 jersey in both of the Boks’ previous Tests – against Australia and New Zealand – he did not reach his usual high standards against the All Blacks in Auckland. Willemse started that clash at fly-half but did not set the world alight. He is no stranger to the full-back position and is set to shine against Argentina.

14 Cheslin Kolbe: The Suntory Sungoliath-bound speedster was South Africa’s standout player in that defeat against the All Blacks with his brilliance on attack asking some questions of his opponents’ defence. Kolbe will be determined to continue with that good work against Los Pumas.

13 Jesse Kriel: The 29-year-old was amongst the group of players who left early for New Zealand in the build-up to their Test against the Wallabies in Pretoria but was not included in the matchday squad when the Boks faced the All Blacks in Auckland. He should get a chance in the number 13 jersey after Lukhanyo Am started in that position in the two previous Tests.

12 Andre Esterhuizen: The behemoth centre was in the starting line-up in the tournament opener against the Wallabies and delivered arguably his best Test performance to date. The Harlequins star caught the eye with some deft touches on attack and also impressed on defence. He will be hoping for a similar effort this weekend.

11 Kurt-Lee Arendse: The hat-trick hero during the Boks’ outstanding victory over the Wallabies in Pretoria although he was a surprise exclusion from the matchday squad for their second Test against the All Blacks. Arendse has already scored 10 tries in eight Test appearances and don’t be surprised if he adds to that tally.

10 Manie Libbok: The Stormers playmaker gave a good account of himself when he made his first appearance in the Boks starting line-up against the Wallabies and also looked solid when coming off the replacements bench against the All Blacks. Another impressive display against Los Pumas should cement his place in the World Cup squad.

9 Faf de Klerk: Still firmly entrenched as his country’s first choice scrum-half, he was in action against the All Blacks but was replaced by Grant Williams during the early stages of the second half of that encounter. De Klerk is crucial to the implementation of the world champions’ game-plan and will be hoping to provide a slick service to his outside backs.

8 Jasper Wiese: The Leicester Tigers stalwart’s game has come on in leaps and bounds over the past year and he is firmly his country’s first choice number eight. However, he was one of the players who struggled to impose himself against the All Blacks and will be determined to deliver an improved performance against Argentina.

7 Pieter-Steph du Toit: The 2019 World Rugby Player of the Year was one of the Boks’ star performers in that victory against Australia and also impressed when coming off the bench early in the second half in the defeat to New Zealand. Du Toit’s high work rate will come in handy as South Africa aim to finish the Rugby Championship on a high.

6 Marco van Staden: His omission from the matchday squad for the Test against the All Blacks was somewhat surprising as he was one of South Africa’s best performers against Australia on his first Test start for his country. Van Staden’s work at the breakdowns and impressive ball carrying caught the eye against the Wallabies and he will be keen to replicate that form in Johannesburg.

5 RG Snyman: The Munsterman made two appearances off the replacements bench in the Rugby Championship so far and if he is in the run-on side this weekend it will be his first start at Test level since the Boks’ win over England in the 2019 World Cup final as he struggled with injuries since then.

4 Eben Etzebeth: The youngest Bok Test centurion should lead them again this weekend after taking over the captaincy from the injured Siya Kolisi against the All Blacks. If truth be told, Etzebeth looked a little rusty in that game as he made his return after more than three months on the sidelines with a shoulder injury. He should put in a better shift against Argentina.

3 Trevor Nyakane: One of the few Springbok players who is yet to see action at Test level this year, Nyakane will be champing at the bit as he has done well at club level for Racing 92. The 34-year-old has been a vital cog in the Bok pack since his debut way back in 2013 and will be keen to show that he is not a spent force in the Test arena with a fine display in Johannesburg.

2 Joseph Dweba: With the jury still out on whether South Africa will take three specialist hookers to the World Cup, this fixture could provide Dweba with the platform to convince the Bok selectors of his credentials as the back-up to the more experienced Malcolm Marx and Bongi Mbonambi. Dweba will have to hit the ground running as he had little game-time when he came on as a late replacement in his only appearance against Australia.

1 Thomas du Toit: Another fringe player, the Bath-bound front-row came off the replacements bench for the Boks against the Wallabies and All Blacks, although both those appearances were during the latter stages of those matches. A strong scrummager, who can pack down on both sides of the scrum, he will be keen to make an impact at the set-piece while also putting in some big hits, especially at close quarters.


16 Malcolm Marx: Arguably the best hooker in the world, Marx is sure to make an impact if provided an opportunity as he strong with ball in hand and also solid in defence.

17 Steven Kitshoff: After two successive run-on appearances, we expect Kitshoff to come off the bench in this fixture and should make a difference as he has an outstanding skill-set.

18 Vincent Koch: Like Marx and Kitshoff, Koch has plenty of experience and he has already proved himself with several strong appearances in the international arena.

19 Lood de Jager: Although he is not usually part of the Boks’ much vaunted ‘Bomb Squad’, De Jager is a good option to come off the bench to replace someone of Etzebeth and Snyman’s calibre.

20 Franco Mostert: Another excellent option to provide impetus during the game’s latter stages, Mostert should be a handy replacement as he covers lock and the back-row.

21 Kwagga Smith: The 30-year-old should proved plenty of energy to the Springbok cause whether it is early or late towards the end of the match.

22 Herschel Jantjies: The Stormers number nine will be hoping to make a good impression if given a chance as this will be his first appearance in the competition.

23 Willie le Roux: He started the both of the Boks’ previous matches but will be a handy option off the bench as he covers several positions in the backline.

READ MORE: Rugby World Cup: Two Cents Rugby maps out the potential routes to the final

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