Cape Town - Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer says he is looking forward to seeing loose forward Siya Kolisi make an impact off the bench against Argentina in Durban on Saturday.
The 24-year-old Stormers flank has been picked in the Springbok match-day squad for the first time since 2013.
Injuries and a subsequent lack of form for the Cape side saw Kolisi miss out on Test rugby in 2014, but he’s forced his way back into the fray and will get a chance at Kings Park this weekend.
Meyer spoke to reporters in Durban on Wednesday and said this game was the right one for Kolisi to make his return to the Bok team.
“I could have picked Warren Whiteley on the bench as well. Even though he injured his ribs in the previous Test, we could still have gone with Warren, but Siya and I have come a long way.
“I thought he was brilliant (recently), he had some personal problems... he had a lot of injuries and also didn’t start for the Stormers.
“But he’s started to play better after his injuries, so he deserves a chance. I’d like to see what he can do as most of the loose forwards have been given a chance.”
Meyer hinted that Kolisi was the type of player that he’d like on the bench.
“Siya worked really hard on his fitness in the off-season. He’s not exactly a lineout jumper of Warren’s calibre, but I’ve always felt that Siya had done well for us (in the past) when he came on, making an impact from the bench and I think he can do that.
“I felt I really wanted to give him a chance this time round. Oupa (Mohoje) has had two games and we know what he can do. He can cover lock as well, although he’s not really a lock.
“Siya is not an out-and-out openside flank - we would really liked to have gone for two opensiders - but he’s really good off the bench and I’m looking forward to seeing him play, he’s really practiced well in the last while. I think it’s the right game to unleash him.”
Kolisi made his Springbok debut against Scotland in Nelspruit in 2013 and played all 10 of his Tests to date in that year.
Kick-off for Saturday’s match at Kings Park is scheduled for 17:05.
15 Willie le Roux, 14 Jesse Kriel, 13 Jean de Villiers (captain), 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Schalk Burger, 7 Marcell Coetzee, 6 Heinrich Brussow, 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Vincent Koch, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Tendai Mtawarira
Substitutes: 16 Adriaan Strauss, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Marcel van der Merwe, 19 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 20 Siya Kolisi, 21 Cobus Reinach, 22 Pat Lambie, 23 Lwazi Mvovo
15 Joaquín Tuculet, 14 Horacio Agulla, 13 Marcelo Bosch, 12 Jerónimo De la Fuente, 11 Juan Imhoff, 10 Juan Martín Hernández, 9 Tomas Cubelli, 8 Leonardo Senatore, 7 Juan Manuel Leguizamon, 6 Pablo Matera, 5 Tomás Lavanini, 4 Guido Petti, 3 Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, 2 Agustín Creevy (captain), 1 Marcos Ayerza
Substitutes: 16 Julián Montoya, 17 Lucas Noguera, 18 Matías Díaz, 19 Matías Alemanno, 20 Tomás Lezana, 21 Martín Landajo, 22 Santiago Gonzalez Iglesias, 23 Lucas Gonzalez Amorosino