Rugby Championship News

SA names unchanged side for Wallabies

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SA coach Jake White has named an unchanged side for Saturdays Tri nations test.

“This is the first time in 60-odd Test matches where South Africa has been able to pick the same 22 in two consecutive weekends or two consecutive matches,” White said.

“Without comparing the Wallabies, it gives us confidence within the team that you can have the same starting team running out.”

“Because we have won now consecutively for three weekends, we are feeling nice and confident, but it’s not over-confident,” White said.

“I keep saying that people are writing the Australians off, people are writing (their captain) George Gregan off and I think that’s a danger.”

Coach Eddie Jones has been hit by injuries and has relegated Smith and Roe to the bench, bringing hooker Brendan Cannon, flankers Phil Waugh and Rocky Elsom and fly-half Elton Flatley into the run-on side for the first time this season.

A last-minute injury to winger Mark Gerrard in training Wednesday opened the door to a starting position for either newly-recovered fullback Matt Rogers or South African-born winger Clyde Rathbone, Jones said.

Matt Giteau was passed fit to play and will start at inside centre.

Hooker Jeremy Paul, winger Wendell Sailor and centre Stirling Mortlock, all injured, will also be missing from the side which lost to New Zealand last week, joining the already laid-up pair of fly-half Stephen Larkham and fullback Chris Latham.

Test rookie Drew Mitchell will start at number 15 ahead of the returning Rogers following an impressive run-on debut against the All Blacks.

Captain Gregan retained his position as scrum-half, despite media pressure for him to stand aside.

“Thats still a good backline,” said White. “Dont you believe they are going to be under strength because they have one or two injuries.”

White said he had been surprised by the Australian decision to demote tenacious flanker Smith to the bench but it showed the Wallabies wanted to try and target the Springbok lineouts.

Teams:

Australia: Drew Mitchell, Matt Rogers or Clyde Rathbone, Morgan Turinui, Matt Giteau, Lote Tuqiri, Elton Flatley, George Gregan (c), David Lyons, Phil Waugh, Rocky Elsom, Nathan Sharpe, Daniel Vickerman, Al Baxter, Brendan Cannon, Bill Young.

Reserves: Stephen Moore, Matt Dunning, Mark Chisholm, George Smith, Chris Whitaker, Rathbone/Rogers.


South Africa: Percy Montgomery, Breyton Paulse, Jaque Fourie, Jean de Villiers, Bryan Habana, Andre Pretorious, Ricky Januarie, Joe van Niekerk, Juan Smith, Schalk Burger, Victor Matfield, Bakkies Botha, C. J. van der Linde, John Smit (c), Os du Randt.

Reserves: Hanyani Shimange, Gurthro Steenkamp, Albert van den Berg, Jacques Cronje, Fourie du Preez, Wayne Julies, Jaco van der Westhuyzen.

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