Bok bomb squad back in place for all-or-nothing test against Pumas



The Springbok bomb squad is back.

Coach Jacques Nienaber has recalled two heavyweights – an in-form Pieter-Steph du Toit as well as Duane Vermeulen – for Saturday’s potential Rugby Championship decider against Argentina in Durban.

Du Toit and Vermeulen, who have both struggled for form and fitness recently, are back in the matchday squad where Nienaber has again opted to split his bench between six forwards and two fullbacks.

In Du Toit’s absence of late, Franco Mostert shone on the blind flank, while Jasper Wiese took the No.8 shirt.

However, all four men, along with captain and fellow loose forwards Siya Kolisi and versatile Kwagga Smith, will be part of the game in Durban – an exit according to Nienaber is an ‘all or nothing’ game for the Boks, who will again be in the field. the bomb squad.

The Springbok team

“It’s all or nothing for us this week,” Nienaber said on Tuesday when he named his squad for the game.

“We have a team with several players who have won the Rugby World Cup and the British & Irish Lions Series, so they know it will take nothing less than an 80 minute quality effort to win this game and the competition.”

The other forwards on Bok’s bench are Bongi Mbonambi, Ox Nche and Vincent Koch.

Springbok Vermeulen Bomber Squad
Duane Vermeulen will be called upon to make an impact on the bench in Durban. Photo: Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

The Boks will know at kick-off what it will take to win the competition, depending on what happens between the All Blacks and the Wallabies earlier today.

Nienaber explained his reasoning behind Du Toit’s recall to the starting squad, despite the World Cup-winning No.7 not being at his best in 2022.

“The energy and enthusiasm that Pieter-Steph has shown in training has been great, and we know what he is capable of in this loose trio, so I’m sure he will have an impact among the loose forwards. “, said Nienaber.

“We have a hungry and talented group of players serving on the bomb squad this week (like Vermeulen, Mostert and Smith) and every player on the match day squad knows what is expected of them if we want to win the rugby championship.

“It’s a huge game for both teams, so we have to be mentally and physically fired up from start to finish.”

The only changes to the Bok side that beat Pumas in Buenos Aires last week are to the flank where Du Toit starts and the fly-half where Frans Steyn only arrives for his second test at No.10. His latest departure as first receiver dates back to 2008 against Italy in Cape Town and this week he replaces Damian Willemse, victim of a concussion.

The Springbok team will face Argentina in Durban:

Willie le Roux, Canan Moodie, Jesse Kriel, Damian de Allende, Makazole Mapimpi, Frans Steyn, Jaden Hendrikse, Jasper Wiese, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Siya Kolisi (capt), Lood de Jager, Eben Etzebeth, Frans Malherbe, Malcolm Marx , Steven Kitshoff. bench: Bongi Mbonambi, Ox Nche, Vincent Koch, Franco Mostert, Duane Vermeulen, Kwagga Smith, Faf de Klerk, Kurt-Lee Arendse