Johannesburg - Star striker Pietie Coetzee was left out of a 17-member SA women's hockey squad named on Friday for two Four Nations tournaments in Argentina next month.
Head coach Giles Bonnet said they had decided to rest Coetzee due to an intensive programme leading up to the Olympic qualifying tournament in India in February.
"An added strategic reason is that India will be at the Four Nations and we don't want them to be able to analyse and test specific tactics against Pietie in both field play and set-pieces," Bonnet said.
In an eight-Test tour, SA will tackle reigning World Cup champions Argentina, India and Ireland in Buenos Aires from December 7 to 11 before the teams move to Parana for the second Four Nations competition from December 14 to 18.
The South Africans will be without five injured players, including experienced midfield duo Marcelle Keet and Leslee-Ann George, striker Hettie Oosthuizen, veteran Jen Wilson and Kelly Madsen.
"All other players were considered, and after the Africa Cup in Zimbabwe in September, and the high performance training in Holland in October and November, this combination for Argentina is what we wish to look at now," Bonnet said.
Two-time Olympian Kate Woods makes a return after taking time out to have a child.
"It's an opportunity to assess Kate in tournament conditions against world-class opposition," Bonnet said.
All players in contention who were not selected, according to Bonnet, would attend a camp in January to stake a claim for the Olympic qualifiers in New Delhi.
Ahead of their qualifying campaign, South Africa will play a marathon 16 Test matches against Spain, Ireland and Belgium in Randburg early in the new year.
SA women's hockey squad: Mariette Rix, Kate Woods, Ilse Davids, Tarryn Bright, Shelley Russell, Jade Mayne, Kathleen Taylor, Marsha Marescia (captain), Lisa Deetlefs, Bernie Coston, Sanani Mangisa, Nicolene Terblanche, Dirkie Chamberlain, Sulette Damons, Celia Evans, Lenise Marais, Liesel Dorothy.