Anyone can contribute to The Roar and have their work featured alongside some of Australia’s most prominent sports journalists.
Australia will welcome South Africa to Fortress Suncorp on Saturday in a test match full of pressure and tension as we kick off another weekend of Rugby Championship double-header in Brisbane from 5:05pm (AEST).
After the incredible result last round, the Wallabies will want to show that it wasn’t just their lucky night whilst the Springboks will be desperate to fight back and show that their set piece is not as brittle as it looked at times. Join The Roar for live scores and a blog.
Unsurprisingly the Wallabies haven’t made too many changes with Dave Rennie sticking with many of the starting 15 who fought so hard against the World Champions.
The major change that Rennie has made is to give Nic White the no.9 jersey ahead of Tate McDermott. White played very well in the final phase of last week’s victory over the Springboks and his tactical and kicking game are stronger than McDermott’s.
Michael Hooper will lead the Wallabies for the 60th time and overtakes George Gregan for the most tests as captain. He’ll be joined in the back row by Lachie Swinton and Rob Valetini.
The other changes that Rennie has made are in the front row where James Slipper will start with Taniela Tupou. Tupou will make his second start of 2021 at his home ground and will be eager to repeat the Wallabies scrum dominance over the Boks. Rennie and his team have been preparing for a strong reaction from the South Africans. “we’re well aware of the ferocity that a wounded Springboks outfit will bring to Suncorp Stadium” he commented this week.
In the backs there are no other changes with Rennie resisting the idea of bringing James O’Connor even though the playmaker has been declared fit. Quade Cooper – whose selection last week was called risky and foolish by some – was arguably the second name on the team sheet after Hooper thanks to his controlled and effective performance last week.
There has been plenty of talk from the Boks about how angry they were at both the loss and the way their pack was bullied at times by the Wallabies. Prop Trevor Nyakane, who will start at loosehead, commented this week that “it’s deep in our hearts; it’s sore, it’s buried in the back of our minds.”
Coach Jacques Nienaber has only made one other change with Marvin Orie joining Eben Etzebeth in the second row as he trusts in the team who started on the Gold Coast to bounce back well in Brisbane.
The Boks understandably want to retain their Rugby Championship title and Nienaber is clear about the challenge ahead. “Our next three matches will be similar to playing a quarter-final, semi-final and final if we want to defend our Castle Lager Rugby Championship title, and we are under no illusions about what it will take to achieve this” explained the Boks coach this week.
The Wallabies have won their last eight tests at Suncorp and the Boks haven’t won in Australia in either years. Both those stats will change tonight as the Boks put in a better performance and sneak a win.
Springboks by 5.
Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Kick-off: 5:05pm (AEST)
Live stream: Stan Sport
Betting: Australia $3.30, South Africa $1.33 – odds via PlayUp
Referee: Matthew Carley
1. James Slipper, 2. Folau Fainga’a, 3. Taniela Tupou, 4. Izack Rodda, 5. Matt Philip, 6. Lachlan Swinton, 7. Michael Hooper (c), 8. Rob Valetini, 9. Nic White, 10. Quade Cooper, 11. Marika Koroibete, 12. Samu Kerevi, 13. Len Ikitau, 14. Andrew Kellaway, 15. Tom Banks
16. Feleti Kaitu’u, 17. Angus Bell, 18. Tom Robertson, 19. Darcy Swain, 20. Pete Samu, 21. Tate McDermott, 22. Reece Hodge, 23. Jordan Petaia
15. Willie le Roux, 14. Sbu Nkosi, 13. Lukhanyo Am, 12. Damian de Allende, 11. Makazole Mapimpi, 10. Handré Pollard, 9. Faf de Klerk, 8. Duane Vermeulen, 7. Franco Mostert, 6. Siya Kolisi, 5. Marvin Orie, 4. Eben Etzebeth, 3. Frans Malherbe, 2. Bongi Mbonambi, 1. Trevor Nyakane
16. Malcolm Marx, 17. Steven Kitshoff, 18. Vincent Koch, 19. Marco van Staden, 20. Kwagga Smith, 21. Jasper Wiese, 22. Herschel Jantjies, 23. Damian Willemse