Springbok hooker Bismarck du Plessis believes that the addition of Argentina will add some much-needed flavour to the Rugby Championship.
The powerful Sharks stalwart has clocked up plenty of voyager miles in the last few weeks as his team visited three different countries in the Super Rugby play-offs, but he is already excited about his next trip overseas, which will be to South America for a change.
With SANZAR competitions dominating the playing schedule throughout his career Du Plessis has travelled Australia and New Zealand extensively, so he is quite keen for a change of scenery and a different set of opponents to keep things interesting.
"Travelling to Argentina I think is a great thing because it is a little bit of a change of environment rather than every year for nine months of the year playing against the same opposition over and over again," he told this website.
Du Plessis is renowned as one of the most physically intense players around, and he is relishing the challenge of measuring himself against a powerful Pumas pack this year.
"They pride themselves in their scrum and I think it has been a great weapon of theirs and their forwards with their pick and go's and their close play so it is going to be physical," he said.
The Sharks and Springbok front row of Du Plessis, his brother Jannie and Tendai Mtawarira have built up some good momentum this year, which the hooker believes will be key against the vaunted Pumas front row.
"I think what really helps is that we can play as three together, the more you play together the better you know each other. It makes your life so much easier because you can have momentum throughout the whole year," he said.
However, he was quick to caution that scrummaging is about much more than just the performance of the front row, explaining that if the Boks are to get the better of the Pumas scrum it will take an effort from all eight forwards.
"Scrumming is not just about three guys, it is just the hit really on the front row but the pressure and the strength comes from the back five. If they can just get us over the line then we can manage and survive in there but if we don't get pressure from the back then we are not going to be effective at all," he said.