Springboks make a colossal 20 changes as Kolisi returns

Siya Kolisi of the Springboks during the South African national men's rugby team training session and fan engagement at Loftus Versfeld on August 13, 2019 in Pretoria, South Africa. (Photo by Lee Warren/Gallo Images)

Siya Kolisi of the Springboks during the South African national men's rugby team training session and fan engagement at Loftus Versfeld on August 13, 2019 in Pretoria, South Africa. (Photo by Lee Warren/Gallo Images)

But the inspirational flanker won’t resume his captaincy just yet.

Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus on Wednesday made a meaty 20 changes to his match squad for Saturday’s one-off Test against Argentina at Loftus.

It’s a combination that was expected given that the national mentor wanted to rest his stalwarts and also allow some fringe players to stake a claim for next month’s World Cup.

However, one of the bigger subplots is that Siya Kolisi, despite returning from a knee injury, won’t be resuming his captaincy just yet.

That honour falls for 38-year-old veteran Schalk Brits.

“I’ve asked Siya to empty his tank and go as hard for as long as he can,” said Erasmus.

“I’ve told him he might even come off in the first half. He has played less than 50 minutes of Currie Cup rugby in the last 12 weeks but I needed him to have a taste of Test rugby again before we leave for Japan.”

Another notable development is the absence of new star Herschel Jantjies, who was slated to be on the bench before receiving a blow to the head.

The medical staff decided to take the safety-first approach, meaning Faf de Klerk comes in.

Springboks: Warrick Gelant, Sbu Nkosi, Jesse Kriel, Andre Esterhuizen, Dillyn Leyds, Elton Jantjies, Cobus Reinach, Marcell Coetzee, Rynhardt Elstadt, Siya Kolisi, Lood de Jager, RG Snyman, Vince Koch, Schalk Brits (c), Thomas du Toit. Bench: Scarra Ntubeni, Lizo Gqoboka, Wilco Louw, Marvin Orie, Marco van Staden, Kwagga Smith, Faf de Klerk, Frans Steyn.

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