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Bongi Mbonambi to captain Springboks for first time

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Bongi Mbonambi Springboks
Bongi Mbonambi.

Hooker Bongi Mbonambi has been appointed captain for South Africa’s Test against Argentina in Buenos Aires on Saturday.

Mbonambi will captain the Springboks for the first time – and prop Gerhard Steenekamp is in contention for an international debut after being named in the matchday 23.

The Springboks will be without regular captain Siya Kolisi and stand-ins Eben Etzebeth and Duane Vermeulen, who have remained in South Africa.

Springboks coach Jacques Nienaber about selection

“This selection includes plenty of Rugby World Cup winners as well as a former Irish international in Jean Kleyn, and this just shows the quality of the depth we have,” said Springboks head coach¬† Jacques Nienaber.

“We’ve been emphasising the importance of giving as many players as possible a fair chance to show what they can do with an eye on finalising our Rugby World Cup squad.

“This is going to be a massive physical battle and there will be a lot of pressure on the players mentally and physically, which is exactly the type of situation we would like to see them in as we enter our World Cup warm-up games.”

Springboks v Argentina in Rugby Championship

South Africa beat Argentina 22-21 in the Rugby Championship at Ellis Park in Johannesburg last week.

“Argentina have shown in the last two seasons that they are a force to be reckoned with and they are particularly tough to beat at home,” added Nienaber.

“They pride themselves on their physicality and set pieces and they have an unbelievable fighting spirit, so we are anticipating another feisty battle against them.”

Springboks squad

Starting XV: 15. Damian Willemse, 14. Canan Moodie, 13. Lukhanyo Am, 12. Ande Esterhuizen, 11. Makazole Mapimpi, 10. Manie Libbok, 9. Cobus Reinach, 8. Jasper Wiese, 7. Franco Mostert, 6. Deon Fourie, 5. Marvin Orie, 4. Jean Kleyn, 3. Thomas du Toit, 2. Bongi Mbonambi (captain), 1. Trevor Nyakane.

Substitutes: 16. Joseph Dweba, 17. Gerhard Steenekamp, 18. Vincent Koch, 19. Jean-Luc du Preez, 20. Evan Roos, 21. Herschel Jantjies, 22. Jesse Kriel, 23. Kurt-Lee Arendse.

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