Rugby Championship

Bismarck set for milestone

2013-08-21 18:00
Bismarck du Plessis (Gallo Images)
Buenos Aires - Bismarck du Plessis will play in his 50th Test for South Africa off the bench against Argentina in Mendoza on Saturday.

The experienced hooker has been selected on the bench after Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer decided to select an unchanged starting 15 for the second round of the Rugby Championship, with Adriaan Strauss starting in the No 2 jersey.

The match 23 shows only one change from the team that beat the Pumas by 73-13 last weekend – Jano Vermaak comes onto the bench as replacement scrumhalf for Fourie du Preez.

If Vermaak gets game-time, he will play in his second Test after making his Springbok debut in Durban against Italy in June.

He picked up an unfortunate injury in that Test, which ruled him out of the rest of the Incoming Series.

"We’re fortunate that we are able to keep an unchanged team for this Test," said Meyer.

"It will be a special day for Bismarck as he will become only the 24th South African to play in his 50th Test for the Springboks, and it’s very well deserved.

"Over the years, he’s always given 100% for the Boks and he will go down in history as one of the best hookers ever to play the game.

"We’re actually in a very privileged position to have two of the best hookers in world rugby in our system, in him and Adriaan.

"They bring out the best in each other and they will continue to grow as players and leaders in the team."

Meyer said the Springboks know the Pumas will lift the intensity for Saturday’s match in Mendoza.

"We experienced first-hand how passionate their supporters are and how they can lift their team," said Meyer.

"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."

Teams:

Argentina:

TBA

South Africa:

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

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

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