South Africa unchanged for return test against Argentina

CAPE TOWN Wed Aug 21, 2013 5:53pm BST

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CAPE TOWN (Reuters) - South Africa have stuck with the starting lineup that romped to a 73-13 win over Argentina last weekend for their return match in the Rugby Championship in Mendoza on Saturday.

The only change to the match-day 23 is scrumhalf Jano Vermaak replacing Fourie du Preez on the bench, the South African Rugby Union (SARU) announced on Wednesday.

Vermaak, who has one cap, won in June against Italy, comes in with Du Preez returning to Japan for club commitments.

It was no surprise that coach Heyneke Meyer left unchanged the side that condemned Argentina to a record-breaking defeat in the four nation, southern hemisphere championship last weekend.

But South Africa's coach has warned his team not to rest on their laurels after Saturday's test win in Johannesburg, saying they face a tough encounter in the Argentine provincial town, where the Springboks were held 16-16 last year.

"We experienced first-hand how passionate their (Argentina's) supporters are and how they can lift their team," he said in an SARU statement.

"Having said that, our focus is on continuous improvement and we would like to keep on converting try-scoring opportunities, building on our good on-field discipline and improving our play at the breakdowns."

Hooker Bismarck du Plessis will win a 50th cap if he comes off the bench as a replacement as expected.

It is the second game for both countries in the competition. After the match in Argentina, South Africa play away tests in Australia and New Zealand before hosting the two countries in Cape Town and Johannesburg in late September and early October.

South Africa:

15-Willie le Roux, 14-Bjorn Basson, 13-JJ Engelbrecht, 12-Jean de Villiers (captain), 11-Bryan Habana, 10-Morne Steyn, 9-Ruan Pienaar, 8-Duane Vermeulen, 7-Willem Alberts, 6-Francois Louw, 5-Juandre Kruger, 4-Eben Etzebeth, 3-Jannie du Plessis, 2-Adriaan Strauss, 1-Tendai Mtawarira

Replacements: 16-Bismarck du Plessis, 17-Gurthro Steenkamp, 18-Coenie Oosthuizen, 19-Flip van der Merwe, 20-Siya Kolisi, 21-Jano Vermaak, 22-Pat Lambie, 23-Jan Serfontein.

(Editing by Ken Ferris)

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