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Cassiem handed second Springboks start against Pumas

17 augustus 2017 15:53

Versatile back-row forward Uzair Cassiem will start at number eight for South Africa when they host Argentina in the opening round of the Rugby Championship.

Cassiem is handed only his second Springboks start at the expense of Jean-Luc du Preez, and will be one of five players making their competition debut in Port Elizabeth on Saturday.

Coach Allister Coetzee has made three changes from the side that completed a 3-0 series victory over France in June, with Ross Cronje and Coenie Oosthuizen returning alongside Cassiem.

Cronje replaces Francois Hougaard at scrum-half, while Oosthuizen comes into the front row at the expense of Ruan Dreyer.

"Uzair is a very versatile loose forward and the added advantage is that he is also an excellent option in the lineout," said Coetzee.

"Coenie has played consistently well this season for the Sharks and he performed well for us whenever he came off the bench in the French series."

Hougaard and Du Preez are both named on the bench, where they are joined by Curwin Bosch - who will make his international debut if called upon.

"Curwin is a young player with huge potential and a bright future ahead of him," added the coach.

"He showed in the very tough Super Rugby competition that he is a skilful player and a prolific goal kicker and he covers both full-back and fly-half.

"He can be very proud of his inclusion in the match day squad as he matriculated from Grey Port Elizabeth just two years ago."

 

South Africa: Andries Coetzee, Raymond Rhule, Jesse Kriel, Jan Serfontein, Courtnall Skosan, Elton Jantjies, Ross Cronje; Tendai Mtawarira, Malcolm Marx, Coenie Oosthuizen, Eben Etzebeth, Franco Mostert, Siya Kolisi, Jaco Kriel, Uzair Cassiem

Replacements: Bongi Mbonambi, Steven Kitshoff, Trevor Nyakane, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Jean-Luc du Preez, Francois Hougaard, Curwin Bosch, Damian de Allende

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