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DHL Stormer Willemse to make Bok debut

PUBLISHED: August 16, 2018



DHL Stormers backline star Damian Willemse will make his Springbok debut if he comes off the replacements bench in the Castle Lager Rugby Championship Test against Argentina in Durban on Saturday.

The 20-year-old utility back will cover fullback and flyhalf in a Springbok match-day 23 which features seven DHL Stormers players in total.

Lock Eben Etzebeth will make his first appearance since he was injured in the last Springbok Test of 2017 against Wales in Cardiff and will start alongside DHL Stormers teammate Pieter-Steph du Toit in the second row.

Captain Siya Kolisi starts at blindside flank, with Frans Malherbe at tighthead prop and the front row duo of Bongi Mbonambi and Steven Kitshoff joining Willemse among the replacements.

SA Rugby’s Director of Rugby Rassie Erasmus said that he is expecting a very tough contest from the Pumas and reiterated the Argentineans will be energised by the appointment of Mario Ledesma as their new head coach, as well as the recent impressive performances of the Jaguares in Vodacom Super Rugby.

“Their new coach comes with a lot of technical knowledge and experience from his previous coaching roles which is sure to add more firepower to their traditional strengths,” said Erasmus.

“They will be very confident as a result of the Jaguares’ great run on tour in Australasia, where they won all four their matches on the road, as well as their winning performances against our own franchises.”

The Springbok team against Argentina in Durban (in order of name and surname, franchise/club, caps and points – tries, conversions, penalties, drop-goals):

15. Willie le Roux (Wasps, England, 44, 55 – 11t)
14. Makazole Mapimpi (Cell C Sharks, 1, 5 – 1t)
13. Lukhanyo Am (Cell C Sharks, 3, 0)
12. André Esterhuizen (Cell C Sharks, 2, 0)
11. Aphiwe Dyantyi (Emirates Lions, 3, 5 – 1t)
10. Handré Pollard (Vodacom Bulls, 29,246 – 3t, 42c, 46p, 3d)
9. Faf de Klerk (Sale Sharks, England, 14, 5 – 1t)
8. Warren Whiteley (Emirates Lions, 17, 15 – 3t)
7. Siya Kolisi (captain, DHL Stormers, 31, 20 – 4t)
6. Francois Louw (Bath, England 57, 45 – 9t)
5. Pieter-Steph du Toit (DHL Stormers, 36, 20 – 4t)
4. Eben Etzebeth (DHL Stormers 67, 15 – 3t)
3. Frans Malherbe (DHL Stormers, 19, 0)
2. Malcolm Marx (Emirates Lions, 14, 15 – 3t)
1. Tendai Mtawarira (Cell C Sharks, 101, 10 – 2t)
Replacements:
16. Bongi Mbonambi (DHL Stormers, 16, 5 – 1t)
17. Steven Kitshoff (DHL Stormers, 27, 5 – 1t)
18. Thomas du Toit (Cell C Sharks, 4, 0)
19. Marvin Orie (Emirates Lions, 1, 0)
20. Marco van Staden (Vodacom Bulls, 0, 0)
21. Embrose Papier (Vodacom Bulls, 2, 0)
22. Lionel Mapoe (Emirates Lions, 12, 0)
23. Damian Willemse (DHL Stormers, 0, 0)