The Wallabies’ backs no longer have to talk themselves up – Springboks coach Heyneke Meyer has done it all for them.
While Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie admits he’s still looking for his best halves pairing – having dropped Kurtley Beale and Nic White for Bernard Foley and Nick Phipps – Meyer has labelled the new combination as “one of the best backlines we’ve ever faced”.
“Australia’s got an unbelievable, an exceptional backline,” he said.
“It’s a brilliant backline. I truly believe that. They’re big, they’re quick and they’re in form.
“Look at the pairing on the bench as well, both players (Kurtley Beale and Nic White) are world class.”
While many will interpret Meyer’s comments as pre-match mind games, his own selections for Saturday’s clash at Perth’s Patersons Stadium back up the big statements.
Meyer has bolstered the defensive structure of his backline to prepare for Israel Folau, Matt Toomua, Adam Ashley-Cooper and co, with reliable veteran five-eighth Morne Steyn replacing young gun Handre Pollard, and Jan Serfontein in at outside centre for Damian de Allende.
“No.13 is probably the most difficult position to defend at and I just feel that Jan is very experienced there,” Meyer said.
“He’s a great defender. And this backline will punish you if you’re not at your best defensively.
“Obviously we are nervous, especially defensively for these guys.
“But we want to be positive as well and try to impose our way of play on them.”