Damian de Allende to Debut for Springbok


Damian de AllendeDamian de Allende is set to make his debut for South Africa beside Jean de Villiers the returning national captain versus Argentina in Pretoria at Loftus Versfeld.

De Villiers is one of the three returning players for the Springboks who did not take part due to injury in the June Tests. The other two are Eben Etzebeth and Frans Malherbe, who are both selected for the bench.

Handre Pollard the Junior Springbok captain will play in his second cap when he will lineup between veterans Ruan Pienaar and De Villiers, while Tendai Mtaqarira and Willem Alberts are returning after missing out on the Scotland Test due to injuries.

Lood de Jager, at lock, will fill the big boots of Victor Matfield who is injured, but he will have Bakkies Botha who is very experienced right next to him.

Heyneke Meyer the Springbok coach said it was excellent welcoming back Willem, Jean, Beast, Frans and Eben, but he was excited to see what Damian will do after missing out on his debut back in June.

Damian and Jean have been together on the field prior to this, albeit not in these positions. However, Damian, said the coach, has experience playing outside center from his days as a junior and was given his break in inside center when he stepped up in place of Jean.

Meyer has moved Jan Serfontein to the bench as cover for injury. He enjoyed a strong series last June, but with De Allende and De Villiers both back from injuries Serfontein was start on the bench. Morne Steyn will be backup at the full back and fly half.

Springbok’s opponent on Saturday is formidable and coach Meyer said he does not want to take chances or start with experiments.

The players know how tough it will be mentally as well as physically and if they are not switched on then it could be a long tough afternoon at the Loftus, added Meyer.

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