The Springboks will play their first Rugby World Cup warm-up match against Argentina without one of the team’s primary second rowers because he was deemed medically unfit to participate.
Head coach Jacques Nienaber named his Springboks match day 23 for Saturday’s showdown against the Pumas in Buenos Aires, with Bongi Mbonambi inserted as team captain in the absence of Siya Kolisi, Handre Pollard, Eben Etzebeth and Duane Vermeulen, who all remained in South Africa this week.
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LOOD’S LACK OF GAME-TIME A CONCERN
Be that as it may, Marvin Orie and Jean Kleyn have been selected as the starting lock pairing with no sign of Lood de Jager either in the run-on XV or on the bench.
De Jager last featured for the Springboks’ 30-25 Rugby Championship defeat against the All Blacks in Auckland. Desperately in need of game-up before the Rugby World Cup, De Jager has now been ruled out this weekend’s game against Los Pumas with what Nienaber described as him being “a bit chesty”.
“Unfortunately, Lood is a little bit chesty, and we didn’t want to take a chance,” Nienaber revealed. “Medically, he is sick, we felt it would be a bit of a risk [if he was selected].”
SPRINGBOKS’ 2023 FIXTURES:
RWC WARM-UP FIXTURES:
Saturday, 5 August – South Africa v Argentina (Buenos Aires), 9:10pm
Saturday, 19 August – South Africa vs Wales (Principality Stadium, Cardiff), 4:15pm
Friday, 25 August – Springboks vs New Zealand (Twickenham, London), 8.30pm
Sunday, 10 September – South Africa v Scotland (Stade Velodrome, Marseille), 5:45pm
Sunday, 17 September – Springboks v Romania (Stade de Bordeaux, Bordeaux), 3pm
Saturday, 23 September – South Africa v Ireland (Stade de France, Paris), 9pm
Sunday, 1 October – Springboks v Tonga (Stade Velodrome, Marseille), 9pm
Weekend of 14/15 October – Quarter-finals
Weekend of 21/22 October – Semi-finals
Saturday, 28 October – Final