First Springboks start for Redelinghuys as Habana returns


South Africa have named their starting XV for their opening Rugby Championship fixture against Argentina, with Bryan Habana returning and Julian Redelinghuys earning a first start.

Tighthead Redelinghuys has made four previous appearances for the Springboks from the bench, but will have the chance to impress from the off in Nelspruit on Saturday following a neck injury sustained by Frans Malherbe.

Full-back Johan Goosen comes in for his first Test since November 2014 while flanker Oupa Mohoje and lock Lood de Jager also return to the starting XV, as does wing Habana, the Springboks' record try scorer set to earn his 118th cap.

"Bryan still has a huge desire to play for the Springboks and he brings added leadership amongst our young backs," said head coach Allister Coetzee.

"Goosen has played consistently well for his French club [Racing 92] and apart from his versatility, he gives us an extra option with his right-footed kicking abilities.

"Julian has played very well for the Lions this season and now gets a deserved starting chance after making an impact from the bench in the previous Tests.

"Oupa has shrugged off his niggling injuries, delivered a string of consistently good performances for the Cheetahs and he is a good option at the back of the line-out and always plays well for the Springboks. We also have the option of Jaco Kriel who can make an impact from the bench.

"Lood is paired with Eben [Etzebeth] now that he is fully fit again while we are fortunate that Pieter-Steph [du Toit] can also play flank when the need arises, apart from his lock duties."


South Africa XV in full: Johan Goosen, Ruan Combrinck, Lionel Mapoe, Damian De Allende, Bryan Habana, Elton Jantjies, Faf de Klerk, Warren Whiteley, Oupa Mohoje, Francois Louw, Lood de Jager, Eben Etzebeth, Julian Redelinghuys, Adriaan Strauss, Tendai Mtawarira.

Replacements: Bongi Mbonambi, Steven Kitshoff, Vincent Koch, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Jaco Kriel, Rudy Paige, Juan de Jongh, Jesse Kriel.