Mtawarira to equal Springboks record in chase for Rugby Championship glory

By Sports Desk August 07, 2019

Tendai Mtawarira will tie the record for the most South Africa appearances in the Rugby Championship as the Springboks look to clinch the title on Saturday.

Mtawarira will earn his 110th cap against Argentina and his 53rd in the southern hemisphere tournament, equalling Bryan Habana's South Africa record.

The hugely experienced prop comes into the side in Salta as Rassie Erasmus makes just three changes to the team that drew with New Zealand, all in the front row.

Mtawarira and Trevor Nyakane come in for Steven Kitshoff and Frans Malherbe, while hooker Bongi Mbonambi replaces Malcolm Marx.

The three men who miss out drop to the bench as South Africa chase their first title since 2009.

With the All Blacks just behind Erasmus' side, a bonus-point victory over the Pumas would seal top spot, with any win also still potentially enough to triumph. Each team is only playing three matches due to the Rugby World Cup.

Erasmus said: "The Pumas are a very difficult team to play at home and they will be fired up for this one in front of their passionate crowd in Salta.

"This Test is a good opportunity for Bongi and Trevor to start next to 'Beast' [Mtawarira], who has a wealth of experience from playing more than 100 Tests for the Springboks.

"We all know about the massively difficult forward threat of Argentina, however; they are a clever side with skill and pace out wide, so we will have to be alert on defence right until the final whistle."

 

South Africa XV to play Argentina: Willie le Roux, Cheslin Kolbe, Lukhanyo Am, Damian de Allende, Makazole Mapimpi, Handre Pollard, Faf de Klerk; Tendai Mtawarira, Bongi Mbonambi, Trevor Nyakane, Eben Etzebeth, Franco Mostert, Kwagga Smith, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Duane Vermeulen.

Replacements: Malcolm Marx, Steven Kitshoff, Frans Malherbe, RG Snyman, Francois Louw, Herschel Jantjies, Frans Steyn, Jesse Kriel.

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