Argentina v South Africa: Teams

At Mendoza, Saturday August 25, kick-off 19.10 BST

Last updated: 24th August 2012  

Argentina v South Africa: Teams

Nicolas Sanchez: Replaces Juan Martin Hernandez

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Argentina will be missing talismanic fly-half Juan Martin Hernandez in their eagerly-awaited home debut in the Rugby Championship this weekend.

The Pumas will take on South Africa in front of an expected, capacity 50,000 crowd in Mendoza on Saturday.

But the star stand-off will take no part in arguably the biggest day in Argentina's rugby history after he was injured during a training session earlier this week.

Nicolas Sanchez replaces Martin in the number 10 shirt and he together, with his fellow the Pumas will certainly have their work cut out against a side they have never beaten in 14 attempts.

The visitors have also suffered an injury blow since their victory in Cape Town last weekend , with powerhouse hooker Bismarck du Plessis sidelined.

South Africa though, will still start as firm favourites and their cause was helped significantly when wing Bryan Habana passed a fitness test on Wednesday after suffering an ankle injury in the victory at Newlands.

Boost

"Having Bryan is obviously a big boost as we've lost a number of players with lots of experience after J P Pietersen, Pierre Spies and Bismarck du Plessis already had to withdraw from our squad," Springboks coach Heyneke Meyer told www.sarugby.net.

Adrian Strauss replaces du Plessis and a rejigged back-row sees Jacques Potgieter start at blindside flanker and Willem Alberts move to number eight. Keegan Daniel drops down to the bench.

"It was a difficult decision between Jacques and Keegan," added Meyer. "But we have gone with horses for courses this time.

"We are expecting it will be very physical early in the game and it might open up later, which perfectly suits the strong-points of both Jacques and Keegan.

"The Pumas also mauled quite well in Cape Town and we were not happy with the defence of their mauls, so with the extra weight Jacques brings we will have to ensure we stop their drives.

"Argentina played a very physical game in Cape Town - as we expected - and they will step it up this weekend in front of their home fans.

"It will be a very tough Test, and we need to be 100 per cent switched on."

Argentina: 15 Martín Rodríguez, 14 Gonzalo Camacho, 13 Marcelo Bosch, 12 Santiago Fernández, 11 Horacio Agulla, 10 Nicolás Sánchez, 9 Nicolás Vergallo, 8 Juan Martín Fernández Lobbe (c), 7 Álvaro Galindo, 6 Julio Farías Cabello, 5 Patricio Albacete, 4 Manuel Carizza, 3 Juan Figallo, 2 Eusebio Guiñazú, 1 Rodrigo Roncero.
Replacements:16 Bruno Postiglioni, 17 Marcos Ayerza, 18 Leonardo Senatore, 19 Tomás Leonardi, 20 Martín Landajo, 21 Lucas González Amorosino, 22 Juan Imhoff.

South Africa: 15 Zane Kirchner, 14 Bryan Habana, 13 Jean de Villiers (c), 12 Frans Steyn, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 Willem Alberts, 7 Jacques Potgieter, 6 Marcell Coetzee, 5 Andries Bekker, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Adriaan Strauss, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Replacements: 16 Tiaan Liebenberg, 17 Pat Cilliers, 18 Flip van der Merwe, 19 Keegan Daniel, 20 Ruan Pienaar, 21 Pat Lambie, 22 JJ Engelbrecht.

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