The Wallabies will be looking to secure the Nelson Mandela Challenge Plate with a second successive win over reigning world champions Springboks at the Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane where they have won their last eight Tests.
For the Australia to register commendable back to back wins over South Africa, they will have to do something that has not happened to the Springboks since 2018 as the South Africans have not suffered consecutive defeats since then.
The Springboks, who won both their opening Rugby Championship games against Argentina in Port Elizabeth, have resisted the temptation to make wholesale changes with coach Jacques Nienaber bringing in Marvin Orie to replace lock Lood de Jager and Trevor Nyakane named at loosehead prop.
As expected Quade Cooper, who kicked the decisive penalty after the hooter last weekend, was named in starting XV and he will make his 72nd international appearance after returning to the Test arena with a bang in the narrow 28-26 upset of the Springboks.
He retains the No 10 jersey despite the return to fitness and availability of James O’Connor after a seven-Test absence this year.
Matthew Carley of England has been appointed the match referee with countryman Luke Pearce and Graham Cooper of Australia serving as the assistant referees while while Brett Cronan of Australia will be the TMO.
Australia VS South Africa
Wallabies coach Dave Rennie has elevated Nic White and Taniela Tupou to the starting line-up for the crucial Rugby Championship clash against South Africa in Brisbane on Saturday where they will be looking to make it two wins out of two.
The match will have significance for Michael Hooper who will become the Wallabies’ most capped captain when he leads the side out for the 60th time on Saturday at Suncorp Stadium to beat the record that was set by legendary George Gregan.
White comes into the side for Tate McDermott, who reverts back to the bench, while Tupou will replace Allan Alaalatoa after the Brumbies prop returned back to Canberra for the birth of his child.
In other team changes, James Slipper returns to the starting side after coming off the bench in last week’s thrilling win on the Gold Coast while on the bench Western Force prop Tom Robertson is in line for his first appearance since 2018 and he is joined by club team-mate Feleti Kaitu’u after his strong debut.
Brumbies lock Darcy Swain will make his return after overcoming a foot injury, James O’Connor remains on the sidelines as Rennie looks to get more game-time into him as he completes his return from a groin injury
For the Springboks, coach Jacques Nienaber went for continuity in his selection by making only three changes to his match-day squad as the Boks loks to bounce back from last weekend’s defeat to the Wallabies.
In the two personnel changes in the starting lineup, Marvin Orie takes over at lock from Lood de Jager, who has started his concussion return to play protocols, and Trevor Nyakane will play at loosehead prop with Steven Kitshoff amongst the replacements in place of Ox Nché.
Nyakane, who boasts 48 Test caps, and Orie, who last ran out for the Springboks in the team’s second Test against Argentina in Nelson Mandela Bay a little over three weeks ago, are going to be vital during set-pieces.
Nienaber again opted for a six-two split of forwards on the bench where Marco van Staden, Kwagga Smith and Jasper Wiese will add impetus along with the front row of Kitshoff, Malcolm Marx and Vincent Koch while Herschel Jantjies and Damian Willemse will provide cover in the backline.
Pick: South Africa Wins by 0.35 at BetXChange