Potent Bok subs set benchmark

Heyneke Meyer has entrusted the core of the June international squad to take down Argentina in Saturday’s Rugby Championship opener at Soccer City.

Hooker Adriaan Strauss has been preferred to Bismarck du Plessis.

The Cheetahs captain has been outstanding this season and, coupled to this, the Bok management is being thorough in nursing Du Plessis back into Test rugby.

Du Plessis is likely to start against New Zealand and if his form warrants it in Australasia, but as Jon Cardinelli writes on SARugbymag.co.za the Sharks man will have to be at his operational best before he will be given the starting role.

Meyer continues with Willie le Roux at fullback and has added physicality to his back row through fit-again Willem Alberts and Duane Vermeulen.

Meyer explained his selections to Cardinelli, who is on tour with the Boks.

Five overseas based Springbok start, among them Ruan Pienaar. Veteran Bok and former Bulls scrumhalf Fourie du Preez, who is based in Japan, will be reintroduced via the bench – and a feature of the squad will be the potency among the substitutes.

Springboks – 15 Willie le Roux, 14 Bjorn Basson, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Jean de Villiers (c), 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Willem Alberts, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Juandré Kruger, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Adriaan Strauss, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Subs: 16 Bismarck du Plessis, 17 Gurthrö Steenkamp, 18 Coenie Oosthuizen, 19 Flip van der Merwe, 20 Siya Kolisi, 21 Fourie du Preez, 22 Pat Lambie, 23 Jan Serfontein.