Experienced lock Eben Etzebeth will captain the Springboks in the injury absence of Warren Whiteley, it was confirmed on Wednesday.
Etzebeth led the Springboks in the last Test of the three-match series against France in June, when Whiteley was ruled out of action because of a groin injury.
Whiteley missed the remainder of the Vodacom Super Rugby campaign as a result of the injury, and he will be out of action for at least six more weeks, ruling him out for the opening part of the 2017 Castle Lager Rugby Championship.
“Eben did an excellent job against France in Johannesburg, when he had to step in at short notice after the late withdrawal of Warren. He enjoys the respect of his team mates and also commands respect on and off the field,” said Springbok coach, Allister Coetzee.
“He is well supported by our strong leadership group which consists of Siya, Tendai Mtawarira and Elton Jantjies.”
Etzebeth has played in 57 Springbok Tests since making his debut on 9 June 2012 against England in Durban, when he was 20 years old.
The Springboks start their campaign against the Pumas on 19 August in Port Elizabeth and then travel to Argentina a week later, for the return leg in Salta.
Meanwhile, the Boks continued with their preparations on Wednesday with two more training sessions in the Friendly City. The squad had a split session in the morning, which consisted of field drills and gym work.
Later in the afternoon they staged a public training session at the Gelvandale Stadium on the outskirts of the City.
Brief Springbok profile of Eben Etzebeth:
Province/Franchise: DHL Western Province DHL Stormers
Springbok number: 833
Test debut: 9 June 2012 vs England in Durban aged 20
Total tests: 57
Tour matches: 1
Total Springbok matches: 58
Win ratio: 36-19-2
Honours: SA Rugby Young Player of the Year (2012 and 2013); Nominee for IRB World Player of the Year (2013)
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