Handre Pollard puts boot to ball for the Boks. Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images

Rugby Championship: Australia vs Springboks preview

The Springboks must beat Australia to keep touch with the All Blacks and give themselves a chance of retaining the Rugby Championship.


Handre Pollard puts boot to ball for the Boks. Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images

After Australia’s last gasp win over the Springboks last Sunday, this contest takes on fresh significance.

Australia vs Springboks preview

Handre Pollard has been the subject of much discussion through the week after a poor performance from the tee, which ultimately cost the Springboks their third-round match and made this contest a must-win.

Despite kicking that match-winning goal, Quade Cooper has enjoyed a relatively quiet week, compared to the days ahead of last week’s Rugby Championship Test.

The Springboks are well aware that they have the players and the game to put Australia away, but they must execute with greater precision.

Australia found more holes in the Springbok defence than any team has this year, much of that down to creative lines and strong targeted runs from their ball-carriers. The combination of the sharpness of Tate McDermott and the experience of Cooper seemed to give the Wallabies a step on the Springbok defence. They may require further evolution of that game to achieve the same results in round four.

The Springboks stars will have a point to prove as Pollard and Lukhanyo Am in particular seek redemption. Am dropped the ball, quite literally, when over the line chasing a Faf de Klerk grubber but otherwise had a decent game. Missed tackles and inaccurate reads cost the Springboks dearly and it’s expected that they will bring a response this week.

Teams: Australia vs Springboks

Australia: 15 Tom Banks, 14 Andrew Kellaway, 13 Len Ikitau, 12 Samu Kerevi, 11 Marika Koroibete, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Nic White, 8 Rob Valetini, 7 Michael Hooper (captain), 6 Lachlan Swinton, 5 Matt Philip, 4 Izack Rodda, 3 Taniela Tupou, 2 Folau Fainga’a, 1 James Slipper.

Replacements: 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.

Springboks: 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 Francois Mostert, 6 Siyamthanda Kolisi (captain), 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Mbongeni Mbonambi, 1 Trevor Nyakane.

Replacements: 16 Malcolm Marx, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 Marco van Staden, 20 Albertus Smith, 21 Jasper Wiese, 22 Herschel Jantjies, 23 Damian Willemse.


Date: Saturday, September 18

Venue: Lang Park, Brisbane

Kick-off: 09:05

Referee: Matthew Carley (England)

Assistant referees: Luke Pearce (England), Graham Cooper (Australia)

TMO: Brett Cronan (Australia)

TV: Supersport

Stream: DStv Now

Take our easy Rugby Quiz and stand a chance to win R1 000 in mobile data!