Bok coach Heyneke Meyer has opted to drop Sharks captain Keegan Daniel to the bench this week in the only unenforced change to the side that will face Argentina in the second Rugby Championship test this weekend.
While several other players – most of them hailing from Pretoria – have been afforded the opportunity to play their way into form in the green and gold jersey, it appears that a different set of rules applies to Daniel, dropped after a single test start in which he performed no worse than the majority of the side, while admittedly failing to set the world alight. Bulls flanker Jacques Potgieter earns his third cap as he is named to start in the number 7 jersey, with Willem Alberts shifting from the side of the scrum to number 8.
Meyer’s reasoning for the selection of a relatively slow and one-dimensional loose trio this time out is that he expects that the Argentine forwards will be very physical, and need subduing early on in the game. The Boks’ current game plan, though, appears to be all about physicality and not much else; it must be said that the value of a player like Daniel is somewhat diminished if the side has no intention to keep the ball in hand.
The other changes to the 22 see Adriaan Strauss start at hooker for the injured Bismarck du Plessis and the uncapped Tiaan Liebenberg come onto the bench in jersey 16.
15. Zane Kirchner (Vodacom Blue Bulls) 16 caps
14. Bryan Habana (DHL Western Province) 78 caps
13. Jean de Villiers (captain, DHL Western Province) 76 caps
12. Frans Steyn (The Sharks) 50 caps
11. Lwazi Mvovo (The Sharks) 5 caps
10. Morné Steyn (Vodacom Blue Bulls) 38 caps
9. Francois Hougaard (Vodacom Blue Bulls) 19 caps
8. Willem Alberts (The Sharks) 12 caps
7. Jacques Potgieter (Vodacom Blue Bulls) 2 caps
6. Marcell Coetzee (The Sharks) 4 caps
5. Andries Bekker (DHL Western Province) 25 caps
4. Eben Etzebeth (DHL Western Province) 4 caps
3. Jannie du Plessis (The Sharks) 34 caps
2. Adriaan Strauss (vice-captain, Toyota FS Cheetahs) 13 caps
1. Tendai Mtawarira (The Sharks) 36 caps
16. Tiaan Liebenberg (DHL Western Province) uncapped
17. Pat Cilliers (MTN Golden Lions) 1 cap
18. Flip van der Merwe (Vodacom Blue Bulls) 15 caps
19. Keegan Daniel (The Sharks) 4 caps
20. Ruan Pienaar (Ulster, N Ireland) 55 caps
21. Pat Lambie (The Sharks) 13 caps
22. JJ Engelbrecht (Vodacom Blue Bulls) 1 cap