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De Villiers returns to captain Boks
05 Aug 2015 13:01
Jean de Villiers will complete his remarkable comeback from a horrific knee injury when the experienced centre leads South Africa in the Rugby Championship test against Argentina at King's Park on Saturday.
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De Villiers has yet to feature in a 2015 test, having undergone major knee surgery after being injured against Wales last November.
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The 34-year-old's return comes as a huge boost for coach Heyneke Meyer ahead of the September-October World Cup in England with De Villiers' leadership both on and off the pitch valued highly.
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As a result of his inclusion at outside centre, explosive prospect Jesse Kriel will move to right wing.
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"Jean's comeback is truly remarkable and very inspirational and I can't wait to see what he can offer playing next to exciting youngsters such as (flyhalf) Handre Pollard, (inside centre) Damian (De Allende) and Jesse," Meyer said in a news release on Wednesday.
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"Jean now has 160 minutes of rugby behind him since his comeback a month ago and I'm very satisfied that he will be able to make his mark as player and captain."
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The forwards on the bench are again rotated due to injuries, with flank Siya Kolisi and lock Pieter-Steph du Toit returning as replacements. Neither have played a test since the victory over France in Paris in late 2013.
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The other changes to the team are all also injury-enforced after South Africa's bruising 27-20 loss to New Zealand at Ellis Park late last month ruled them out of contention for this year's championship.
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Flanker Marcell Coetzee returns and will take over from Francois Louw, while prop Vincent Koch will get his first start for the Boks in place of Jannie du Plessis.
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