The Springboks will debut their new look away jersey against Argentina in Buenos Aires on Saturday, 5 August. Photo: Twitter @Springboks

New Springbok jersey on debut in Argentina – PICTURE

The Springboks will debut their new look away jersey against Argentina in Buenos Aires on Saturday, 5 August.


The Springboks will debut their new look away jersey against Argentina in Buenos Aires on Saturday, 5 August. Photo: Twitter @Springboks

Springbok assistant coach Mzwandile Stick and captain Bongi Mbonambi said the team were ready for what is going to be a brutal battle against the Pumas at Estadio Velez Sarsfield in Buenos Aires on Saturday in the first of three 2023 Rugby World Cup warm-up games.

The Pumas are renowned for their physicality and passion, and Stick and Mbonambi expected an even bigger challenge from the South Americans on their home patch this weekend, especially with replacement hooker Agustin Creevy set to become the first player in their history to reach 100 Test caps.

MUST READ | Elton Jantjies gushes over wife, a year after affair scandal

It may be a big occasion for the home side, but Stick said the Boks were equally driven to produce a quality performance as they build toward the World Cup and to make it a memorable day for Mbonambi, who will lead the national team for the first time, and replacement prop Gerhard Steenekamp, who is in line to make his Test debut.

“The important thing for us is to improve on the way we want to play and to give ourselves a strong foundation before the Rugby World Cup,” said Stick.

“There’s a lot we want to improve on, but the message is clear, we have to pitch up on the day. We are expecting a hostile game in front of a passionate crowd, so it’s going to be brutal.”

LIVE | Every Test on Saturday, 5 August

Mbonambi supported his coach’s sentiments: “It’s going to be an immense test for the team, but we’ve been preparing well this week and we’ve worked on the areas that we felt we needed to improve on.

“With Argentina playing at home in front of their passionate supporters, it’s going to be challenging game. Augustin Creevy is also playing his 100th game and they’ll want to make it special for him.”

ALSO READ | Bongi Mbonambi becomes 65th Springbok captain: The FULL list

Springboks three matches away from 2023 Rugby World Cup

Mbonambi was thrilled about wearing the captain’s armband and said: “Personally, this a massive milestone in my career. It’s an opportunity not many people receive, so it’s a great honour.

“Growing up I would never have imagined that I would be in this position. Some people get this honour early in their careers and others later, but it’s been a journey to get here, and my parents and family are very proud.”

READ | Rassie Erasmus’ Springboks bombshell: I was ready to resign!

Mbonambi was calm and collected about the responsibility on his shoulders and said: “The only difference for me this week will be talking to the referee. I still have a job to do on the field, and that will be a key focus.”

READ | World Cup last chance saloon: Springbok squad heading to Argentina

Stick was proud of Mbonambi’s achievement, and he was confident that the coaches had named the right player for this big assignment.

“It was an easy call for us (to name Bongi captain),” said Stick.

“He’s always been a leader in our group, and he’s vocal and leads by example on the field. There’s no doubt the team also wants to make it special for him.”

With the Springboks’ three matches away from kicking off the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France, Stick said: “I don’t think we are anywhere close to the final product we want to be in the World Cup, but we are on track.”

WATCH: Siya Kolisi involved in Springboks’ warm-up

The match kicks off at 21:10 (SA time).



15 Martin Bogado, 14 Emiliano Boffelli, 13 Lucio Cinti, 12 Santiago Chocobares, 11 Santiago Cordero, 10 Santiago Carreras, 9 Gonzalo Bertranou, 8 Juan Martin Gonzalez, 7 Santiago Grondona, 6 Pablo Matera, 5 Tomas Lavanini, 4 Pedro Rubiolo, 3 Francisco Gomez Kodela, 2 Julian Montoya (captain) 1 Thomas Gallo

Substitutes: 16 Agustin Creevy, 17 Joel Sclavi, 18 Eduardo Bello, 19 Guido Petti, 20 Facundo Isa, 21 Lautaro Bazan Velez, 22 Tomas Albornoz, 23 Matias Moroni

South Africa

15 Damian Willemse, 14 Canan Moodie, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Manie Libbok, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Jasper Wiese, 7 Franco Mostert, 6 Deon Fourie, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Jean Kleyn, 3 Thomas du Toit, 2 Bongi Mbonambi (captain), 1 Trevor Nyakane

Substitutes: 16 Joseph Dweba, 17 Gerhard Steenekamp, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 Jean-Luc du Preez, 20 Evan Roos, 21 Herschel Jantjies, 22 Jesse Kriel 23 Kurt-Lee Arendse