Meyer picks top side for Argentina clash

12:10 pm on 29 October 2015

The Springboks coach Heyneke Meyer has named his strongest possible team for the third and forth play-off in the Rugby World Cup clash against Argentina at London's Olympic Stadium on Saturday morning.

Springbok lock Victor Matfield

Springbok lock Victor Matfield Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Victor Matfield replaces Lood de Jager as one of only two changes to the starting line-up from their semi-final against the All Blacks.

He takes over the over the captaincy from the injured halfback Fourie du Preez, whose place in the number nine jersey is taken by Ruan Pienaar with Rudy Paige coming on to the bench.

The 38-year-old Matfield, a veteran of 126 internationals, has already said he will retire - for the second time - from international rugby after this tournament.

"This is a critical match for us and we owe it to ourselves and our supporters to end the season on a high note," said Meyer.

"The Pumas have made massive strides in recent years and we've experienced first-hand how tough an opponent they can be. The players realise that they will have to lift themselves for one final push to ensure that South African rugby goes into the off season on a winning note.

"I considered fielding a much-changed team and weighed the pros and cons but ultimately decided the team that has grown together over the past few weeks was the one with the best chance of delivering victory for our supporters."

Meyer said the playoff match for third place at the World Cup is not what the Springboks had hoped for, but that they will approach the final Test of 2015 as the final.

"The players have all spoken about the honour of wearing the Springbok jersey and this Test is no different - we will never settle for being second or third best," he said.

Pat Lambie will reach the special milestone of 50 Test caps for South Africa if he gets game-time off the bench.

South Africa: 1-Tendai Mtawarira, 2-Bismarck du Plessis, 3-Frans Malherbe, 4-Eben Etzebeth, 5-Victor Matfield (captain), 6-Francois Louw, 7-Schalk Burger, 8-Duane Vermeulen, 9-Ruan Pienaar, 10-Handre Pollard, 11-Bryan Habana, 12-Damian De Allende, 13-Jesse Kriel, 14-JP Pietersen, 15-Willie le Roux

Replacements: 16-Adriaan Strauss, 17-Trevor Nyakane, 18-Jannie du Plessis, 19-Lood de Jager, 20-Willem Alberts, 21-Rudy Paige, 22-Pat Lambie, 23-Jan Serfontein

- Reuters

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