Damian De Allende wins first Springboks cap

Pretoria: Outside centre Damian de Allende will debut for South Africa Saturday against Argentina in a Rugby Championship first-round match in Pretoria.

The uncapped 22-year-old Western Stormer is among eight changes to the starting team that whipped Scotland 55-6 in Port Elizabeth two months ago.

De Allende, inside centre and skipper Jean de Villiers and left-wing Bryan Habana replace JP Pietersen, Jan Serfontein and Lwazi Mvovo.

Star scrum-half Fourie du Preez suffered a serious ankle injury against the Scots, ruling him out for the rest of this year, and Ruan Pienaar steps in.

The other four changes are in the pack with flanks Willem Alberts and Francois Louw coming in for Schalk Burger and Marcell Coetzee.

Veteran lock Bakkies Botha takes the place of injured Victor Matfield and loose-head prop Tendai `The Beast` Mtawarira is recalled with Coenie Oosthuizen dropping out.

The seven Springboks retained include 20-year-old fly-half Handre Pollard, with long-time incumbent Morne Steyn among eight replacements.

De Allende, who has also played on the left wing for the Stormers, faces the Argentine Pumas boosted by recent praise from 96-cap De Villiers.

"Damian ticks all the boxes. He is big, strong and fast. I think he has got an unbelievable pass and good feet as well," said the Springboks skipper.

De Allende was set to debut in mid-year home Tests against Wales or Scotland, but an injury delayed his first appearance in the green and gold.

"I am excited to see what Damian can do after he missed out on making his debut in June because of an injury," South Africa coach Heyneke Meyer said.

"Jean and Damian have played together before, albeit not this way round, but Damian has experience of playing outside centre from his junior days.

"Handre deserves another opportunity and it will be good to see how he combines with Jean and Damian," added a coach with 20 wins and two draws from 27 Tests. 

Argentina coach Daniel Hourcade has postponed naming his team by 48 hours until Thursday.
Team (15-1)

Willie le Roux; Cornal Hendricks, Damian de Allende, Jean de Villiers (capt), Bryan Habana; Handre Pollard, Ruan Pienaar; Duane Vermeulen, Willem Alberts, Francois Louw; Lood de Jager, Bakkies Botha; Jannie du Plessis, Bismarck du Plessis, Tendai Mtawarira

Replacements: Adriaan Strauss, Trevor Nyakane, Frans Malherbe, Eben Etzebeth, Marcell Coetzee, Francois Hougaard, Morne Steyn, Jan Serfontein