Victor Matfield captains Springboks in bronze final against Pumas

Victor Matfield will captain South Africa as he plays his 127th and final Springboks Test in the Rugby World Cup bronze final against Argentina at Queen Elizabeth Park on Friday.

Matfield was named captain after Fourie du Preez failed to recover from the facial injury that has left him with headaches since the semifinal loss to New Zealand on Saturday.

Ruan Pienaar replaces Du Preez at scrum-half, with Lood de Jager benched to make place for Matfield, but Springboks coach Heyneke Meyer has otherwise resisted the temptation to play fringe players having previously likened the third-place play-off to "kissing your sister".

"The temptation was there to play some fresh guys but I think people understood me wrong when I spoke about the play-off," Meyer said. "If you accept that, you will never be a winner. It has never been like South Africa to compete for third or fourth and be happy about it.

"When you are South African and a Springbok, only the best will be good enough. But saying that, whenever you put a Bok jersey on, even if it is a friendly, you are still representing your country, you are still representing the hopes and dreams of your country, so it is a great responsibility. I can't say in words what it means to be the Springbok coach.


Willie le Roux; JP Pietersen, Jesse Kriel, Damian de Allende, Bryan Habana; Handre Pollard, Ruan Pienaar; Tendai Mtawarira, Bismarck du Plessis, Frans Malherbe; Eben Etzebeth, Victor Matfield (captain); Francois Louw, Schalk Burger, Duane Vermeulen.

Replacements: Adriaan Strauss, Trevor Nyakane, Jannie du Plessis, Lood de Jager, Willem Alberts, Rudy Paige, Patrick Lambie, Jan Serfontein.