Junior Springbok coach Chean Roux shuffled his team for their World Rugby U20 Championship bronze playoff at the Racecourse Stadium in Rosario on Saturday, with four players – David Kriel (centre), David Coetzer (flyhalf), Sanele Nohamba (scrumhalf) and Kudzwai Dube (prop) – earning their first starts in the competition.
Roux made six changes to the starting XV that ran out against France in the semi-final, with the other new faces in the team to face Argentina being flankers Celimpilo Gumede and Jaco Labuschagne.
They replace Marnus Potgieter (centre), James Mollentze (flyhalf), Jaden Hendrikse (scrumhalf), Sibusiso Sangweni, Dylan Richardson (both flankers) and Dian Bleuler (prop) respectively.
“We suffered a few injuries in the last match, which forced us to make a few changes, but I also think it is important to get fresh players on the field who can inject a new energy into the side after a disappointing performance against France,” said Roux.
The coach expects Argentina to deliver a passionate performance in front of their home crowd and said: “They will be very motivated, as always, and they will also have something to prove after losing in the semi-final in front of their home crowd. So it is going to be a tough game, but we are looking forward to it.”
With the match wrapping up the team’s campaign, Roux said his charges were determined to finish the competition on a winning note.
“Every game in this competition is important for us, it doesn’t make a difference if it is the first or the last game,” said Roux. “Our plans are in place and we will have some fresh players on the field, so hopefully we can finish the tournament on a good note.”
The match kicks off at 18:00 (SA Time) and will be followed by the final between France and Australia and 20:30 (SA Time).
Meanwhile, South African referee Rasta Rasivhenge has been appointed as an assistant referee for the matches between Scotland and Fiji and Ireland and New Zealand respectively at Old Resians Club in Rosario.
15 Vaughen Isaacs, 14 Angelo Davids, 13 David Kriel, 12 Rikus Pretorius, 11 Thaakir Abrahams, 10 David Coetzer, 9 Sanele Nohamba, 8 Phendulani Buthelezi(captain), 7 Celimpilo Gumede, 6 Jaco Labuschagne, 5 Elrigh Louw, 4 JJ van der Mescht, 3 Asenathi Ntlabakanye, 2 Fezokuhle Mbatha, 1 Kudzwai Dube. Replacements: 16 Dameon Venter, 17 Dian Bleuler, 18 Keagan Glade, 19 Thabiso Mdletshe, 20 Dylan Richardson, 21 Sibusiso Sangweni, 22 Caleb Dingaan, 23 Jaden Hendrikse, 24 Janko Swanepoel, 25 Marnus Potgieter, 26 Zwelendaba Mnombo
Issued by SA Rugby Communications