It is the weekend we all have been waiting for…The Rugby Championships Australian leg is properly kicking off this Sunday with the All Blacks taking on Argentina and Australia hosting the Springboks.
Wha makes this even more special for Boks fans is that this will be the first time since the World Cup Final that the Springboks will play outside South Africa and in front of spectators. This will surely be a different experience for the men in green.
WIth two wins from their first two test against Argentina in South Africa the Springboks is one point behind the All Blacks on the log.
Rugby Championship 2021
The Aussies is still without the win after having to play their first two rounds against the All Blacks and sit on the bottom of the log at the moment.
They are much better than their log position and if anyone thinks that this is an easy game for the Boks, then they have a huge surprise waiting for them.
The Aussies play a high risk high reward game and when it come off you look like super stars but when it does not, then you sit with two losses at the bottom of the Championship log.
It will be interesting to see if the Aussies stick to their ball in hand approach or if they will change it a bit against the Boks this Sunday.
The big surprise from Rennie when he announced his team for this test was the name of Quade Cooper at ten.
He brings 70 test experience to the team and this is the first time since 2017 that Cooper will pull a Australian jumper over his head.
Although he was selected in the squad for the three test against the All Blacks, he did not get a chance but this weekend he can show his class against the Springboks.
The brilliant Michael Cooper will leas the team again this weekend and equal George Gregan’s record of 59th time in leading his country.
Tom Banks have kept his place at fullback even though he has struggled with his form. He will be joined in the back three with Andrew Kellaway and Marika Koroibete on the wings.
Len Ikitau and Samu Kerevi will be in the midfield taking on the world class midfield pair of Am and De Allende. This will certainly be a head-to-head to look forward too.
Cooper will pair with Tate McDermott who has been in pretty good form all year and maybe just what Rennie needs to counter Faf de Klerk.
Valetini and Swinton will join their captain as the loose trio combination for this weekend and Matt Philip and Izack Rodda will be in the second row.
In the front row Rennie went with Allan Alaalatoa, Folau Fainga’a and Angus Bell.
For Springboks fans it will be great to see Duane Vermeulen starting this weekend. He comes in for Wiese who will take his place on the bench as cover.
Although Vermeulen joined the squad the week leading up to the third test against the British & Irish Lions, but never played.
Fans will also be very happy to see Faf De Klerk back in the number nine jumper partnering again with Handre Pollard at ten.
The big man Eben Etzebeth is also back in the starting XV and he will partner Lodewyk de Jager in the second row with Marvin Orie loosing out this weekend.
The front row that will start this weekend sees Steven Kitshoff and Frans Malherbe next to Bongi Mbonambi at hooker. They will be backup on the bench by Malcolm Marx, Retshegofaditswe Nché and Vincent Koch.
With Vermeulen back at number eight we see a new loose trio combination with captain Siyamthanda Kolisi at six and Franco Mostert continue at number seven with Pieter Steph Du Toit out.
Nienaber went with three loose forwards on the bench with Marco van Staden, Albertus Smith and Jasper Wiese that will make their impact in the second half.
In the backline Nienaber made two changes with Sibusiso Nkosi who comes in for Kolbe who took a knock during training and De Klerk that comes in for Reinach.
Nkosi will join Willie Le Roux and Makazole Mapimpi as the back three. Damian Willemse will be the unfitly backup player on the bench with Herschel Jantjies covering nine.
We are looking forward to this test as the Aussie will test the Springboks in a total different way than what they have been experiencing against the British & Irish Lions and Argentina.
Ball-in-hand is how the Aussie play and we don’t see them change that much. They are happy to take the ball through phases to breakdown defences and the Springboks have to be on par.
With the Aussies type of game plan it will create much more opportunities for the Boks so we are in for a great game of rugby.
The game will kickoff on Sunday at 12:00 SA time and the man in the middle will be Luke Pearce from England.
South Africa: 15 Willie le Roux, 14 Sibusiso Nkosi, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Handré Pollard, 9 Francois de Klerk, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Franco Mostert, 6 Siyamthanda Kolisi (captain), 5 Lodewyk de Jager, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Mbongeni Mbonambi, 1 Steven Kitshoff.
Replacements: 16 Malcolm Marx, 17 Retshegofaditswe Nché, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 Marco van Staden, 20 Albertus Smith, 21 Jasper Wiese, 22 Herschel Jantjies, 23 Damian Willemse.
Australia: 15 Tom Banks, 14 Andrew Kellaway, 13 Len Ikitau, 12 Samu Kerevi, 11 Marika Koroibete, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Tate McDermott, 8 Rob Valetini, 7 Michael Hooper (captain), 6 Lachlan Swinton, 5 Matt Philip, 4 Izack Rodda, 3 Allan Alaalatoa, 2 Folau Fainga’a, 1 Angus Bell.
Replacements: 16 Feleti Kaitu’u, 17 James Slipper, 18 Taniela Tupou, 19 Rob Leota, 20 Pete Samu, 21 Nic White, 22 Reece Hodge, 23 Jordan Petaia.