Salta - South Africa will wear red for the first time in
their 126-year existence when they play in Argentina on Saturday, hoping to
extend an encouraging four-victory start to the season.
The change from the traditional green and gold or
second-choice white is to celebrate 25 years of rugby unity in a country where
the sport was run on racial lines during apartheid.
All the national flag colours - black, blue, green, red,
white and yellow - will have been used either in playing or training kit after
the kick-off in northwestern city Salta.
Springbok supporters hope it will be a red-letter day for a
team that has battled in previous Rugby Championship visits to South America.
South Africa have won twice, drawn once and lost once, with
the widest victory margin for the twice former world champions a mere five
Most of these struggles have come after convincing home
victories, similar to the 37-15 success achieved by the Springboks over the
Pumas in Port Elizabeth last Saturday.
Powerful Coenie Oosthuizen-inspired scrumming laid the
foundations for a convincing victory that followed a 3-0 home Test series
whitewash of below-par France.
The four victories came after a horror debut season for
coach Allister Coetzee in which his team lost a calendar-year record eight
Tests of 12.
"The team must banish from their minds the idea that we
are always going to struggle in Argentina," stressed lock Eben Etzebeth,
standing in as skipper for injured Warren Whiteley.
"We need to prepare well, get our mind-set right and
believe we can go there and win."
The 20 000-capacity Estadio Padre Ernesto Martearena, with
its small pitch and passionate supporters, has not been a happy hunting ground
for the Springboks.
They snatched a 33-31 victory in 2014 and lost away to
Argentina for the first time last year, failing 26-24 with Santiago Gonzalez
Iglesias slotting the decisive late penalty.
In an effort to avoid a morale-deflating loss ahead of
potentially much tougher matches in Australia and New Zealand, Coetzee changed
his pre-match plan from last year.
Instead of flying to Argentina at the beginning of the week,
they continued training in South Africa and arrived in Salta less than two days
before the match.
"As with previous Tests this year, we must show
patience, hunger and a desire to execute our game plan," stressed Coetzee.
He believes in continuity and the only change to the
starting line-up from last weekend was injury enforced with scrumhalf Francois
Hougaard replacing Ross Cronje.
Rudy Paige takes the place of Hougaard, who plays for
English Premiership club Worcester Warriors, in an otherwise unchanged bench.
The unhappiness of Argentina coach Daniel Hourcade is
reflected in six changes to the team that started in South Africa, although two
are injury related.
Regular halfbacks Nicolas Sanchez (fly) and Martin Landajo
(scrum) drop to the bench with experienced pair Juan Martin Hernandez and Tomas
Cubelli taking over.
Injuries rule out loosehead prop Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro and
number eight Leonardo Senatore and their places go to Lucas Noguera and Juan
Matias Alemanno takes over from Guido Petti at lock and
Ramiro Herrera comes in as tighthead prop with Enrique Pieretto dropping to the
"We have to secure the ball and hold on to it,"
emphasised Hourcade. "We cannot spend most of the match defending, as we
did in South Africa."
15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Raymond Rhule, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 Uzair Cassiem, 7 Jaco Kriel, 6 Siya Kolisi, 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Eben Etzebeth (captain), 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Beast Mtawarira
Substitutes: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Trevor Nyakane, 19 Pieter-Steph Du Toit, 20 Jean-Luc du Preez, 21 Rudy Paige, 22 Curwin Bosch, 23 Damian de Allende
15 Joaquin Tuculet, 14 Ramiro Moyano, 13 Matias Orlando, 12 Jeronimo de la Fuente, 11 Emiliano Boffelli, 10 Juan Martin Hernandez, 9 Tomas Cubelli, 8 Juan Manuel Leguizamón, 7 Tomas Lezana, 6 Pablo Matera, 5 Tomas Lavanini, 4 Matías Alemanno, 3 Ramiro Herrera, 2 Agustin Creevy (captain), 1 Lucas Noguera
Substitutes: 16 Julian Montoya, 17 Santiago García Botta, 18 Enrique Pieretto, 19 Marcos Kremer, 20 Javier Ortega Desio, 21 Martin Landajo, 22 Nicolas Sanchez, 23 Matias Moroni