The team leaves for Buenos Aires on Wednesday evening.
Other players getting their first starts of the season include fullback Zane Kirchner, wing Lwazi Mvovo, flyhalf Pat Lambie, flank Willem Alberts, prop Marcel van der Merwe, hooker Adriaan Strauss and prop Trevor Nyakane.
On the bench, centre Jan Serfontein and hooker Schalk Brits have also been included in the match-23 for the first time this season.
A total of 28 players will travel to South America on Wednesday night to play the Pumas at the Vélez Sarsfield on Saturday evening. The match-23 shows seven changes from the side that lost 37-25 to Argentina last weekend in Durban, many of them injury-enforced.
Kirchner takes over at fullback from the injured Willie le Roux; Jesse Kriel moves from wing to centre in place of Jean de Villiers, with Mvovo getting his third run of the season, in the No 14-jersey. Alberts replaces the injured Marcell Coetzee in what will be his first Test in more than a year.
Lock Lood de Jager, Vincent Koch and Fourie du Preez were ruled out for this weekend. De Jager injured a pectoral muscle at training on Tuesday afternoon, while Koch took a knock to his knee in the same training session.
They will remain in Durban with the other injured players in the squad — Jannie du Plessis, Coenie Oosthuizen, Francois Louw, Coetzee, Duane Vermeulen, De Villiers, JP Pietersen and Le Roux.
De Villiers, who fractured his jaw against the Pumas last Saturday, consulted with a specialist earlier in the week, who confirmed that he would be out of action for four to six weeks, during which time he could take part in limited training.
With De Villiers out, Matfield resumes the captaincy role.
“Obviously it’s not ideal that we’ve had to use three captains in our five matches this year, but it’s the hand we’ve been dealt and it’s good to have experienced leaders in our squad, as they play a very valuable role,” said Meyer.
Stats and facts:
- The Springbok starting team boasts a total of 643 Test caps (285 in the backline and 358 among the forwards), while there are a further 159 caps worth of experience on the bench.
- South Africa and Argentina have played each other 20 times since 1993, with the Springboks winning 18, losing one and drawing one. The Springboks have scored 753 points and 91 tries against the Pumas, and conceded 398 points and 37 tries for an average score of 38-20.
- Bryan Habana will extend his record as the most-capped Springbok wing, with 108 caps in this position. If he scores a try he will extend his record of 58 Test tries for South Africa, as well as the most Test tries against Argentina (6). He will also play against Argentina for the 11th time, improving his South African record.
- Victor Matfield will extend his record as the most-capped Springbok in history (122 Tests). He will also extend his record of 122 Tests as a lock and will captain the Springboks for the 22nd time, which will move him into fifth position with Dawie de Villiers on the all-time list behind John Smit (83), Gary Teichmann (36), Jean de Villiers (35) and Francois Pienaar (29).
- It will be Heyneke Meyer’s 41st Test in charge of the Springboks since he took over in 2012. Of the previous 40 Tests South Africa have won 26, lost 12 and drawn twice. He is third on the all-time list behind Peter de Villiers (48) and Jake White (54).
- There are four sons of former Springboks in the team: Ruan Pienaar (father Gysie), Schalk Burger jnr (father Schalk snr), Flip van der Merwe jnr (father Flippie snr) and Cobus Reinach (father the late Jaco). There is one grandson of a former Springbok – Pieter-Steph du Toit is the grandson of Piet “Spiere” du Toit. Patrick Lambie is the grandson of former England international Nick Labuschagne.
- The referee is Glen Jackson of New Zealand. In his only previous Test the Springboks beat Scotland 55-6 in Port Elizabeth in June 2014.
- Springbok Test match records at Vélez Sarsfield in Buenos Aires:
- Most points: 24 by Gaffie du Toit (2 tries, 4 conversions, 2 penalties) against Argentina on 4 December, 2004
- o Most tries: 2 by Gaffie du Toit against Argentina on 4 December, 2004
- o Most conversions: 4 by Gaffie du Toit against Argentina on 4 December, 2004
- o Most penalty goals: 3 by Percy Montgomery against Argentina on 5 November, 2005
- o Most drop goals: 1 by Bolla Conradie against Argentina on 5 November, 2005
- The Springbok team to face Argentina in Buenos Aires is:
|Position||Name||Franchise / Club||Test Caps||Test points|
|14||Lwazi Mvovo||Cell C Sharks||12||15|
|13||Jesse Kriel||Vodacom Bulls||3||10|
|12||Damian de Allende||DHL Stormers||6||0|
|10||Pat Lambie||Cell C Sharks||43||106|
|8||Schalk Burger||DHL Stormers||78||70|
|7||Willem Alberts||Cell C Sharks||32||35|
|6||Heinrich Brüssow||Toyota Cheetahs||22||5|
|5||Victor Matfield (captain)||Vodacom Bulls||122||35|
|4||Eben Etzebeth||DHL Stormers||36||5|
|3||Marcel van der Merwe||Vodacom Bulls||6||0|
|2||Adriaan Strauss||Vodacom Bulls||47||25|
|1||Trevor Nyakane||Vodacom Bulls||15||5|
|17||Tendai Mtawarira||Cell C Sharks||67||10|
|18||Frans Malherbe||DHL Stormers||5||0|
|19||Flip van der Merwe||Vodacom Bulls||36||5|
|20||Pieter-Steph du Toit||Cell C Sharks||3||0|
|21||Cobus Reinach||Cell C Sharks||9||10|
|22||Handré Pollard||Vodacom Bulls||12||95|
|23||Jan Serfontein||Vodacom Bulls||20||10|
|Additional tour squad members|
|24||Bismarck du Plessis||Cell C Sharks||73||45|
|25||Steven Kitshoff||DHL Stormers||0||0|
|26||Siya Kolisi||DHL Stormers||11||0|
|27||Rudy Paige||Vodacom Bulls||0||0|
|28||Elton Jantjies||Emirates Lions||2||6|