Etzebeth relishing captaincy role

Springbok lock and stand-in captain Eben Etzebeth hopes to lead by example when his side clash with Argentina in a Rugby Championship opener in Port Elizabeth on Saturday.

Etzebeth is deputising in the absence of regular captain Warren Whiteley who is undergoing surgery for a groin injury.

It is not a completely new experience for the Stormers enforcer as this will be the second time in a row that he is leading the Boks after also skippering the side in the third Test of the France series.

The 25-year-old admits that Whiteley's shoes are big ones to fill but aims to aims first and foremost to lead with impressing on the pitch.

"It's intimidating and a great experience," Etzebeth told ESPN.

"It's something new for me and I hope to be ready for the challenge. The important thing is to set the example on the pitch."

It is always a titanic battle among the forward packs when the Boks meet the Pumas. And Etzebeth is looking forward to facing opposite number Thomas Lavanini.

"Argentina have a huge pack, we know their potential and we will have to work hard," the Bok captain said.

"This week our focus was to control the game upfront, which will be the key.

"He [Lavanini] is a very good player, I had several battles with him in the past and it will be a good challenge to face him."