Preview: South Africa vs Australia in Rugby Championship
The much-anticipated clash between South Africa and Australia in the Rugby Championship is set to take place this weekend. Both teams have named their lineups for the opener, and there are some interesting selections on both sides.
South Africa’s Debutant and Captaincy Change
Former Ireland lock Jean Kleyn will make his debut for South Africa after being approved by World Rugby to play for his native country. Kleyn’s selection adds depth to the Springboks’ second row. Duane Vermeulen, the former Ulster Number 8, will lead the team as captain, replacing the injured Siya Kolisi.
New Faces in Australia’s Lineup
The Wallabies, under coach Eddie Jones, have included several debutants in their matchday squad. Tom Hooper, the rising star from the Brumbies, will start at No. 6. Hooper’s versatility and dedication make him a valuable asset to the team. Suliasi Vunivalu, a former NRL star, will also make his run-on debut after a brief appearance off the bench last year.
Key Players and Lineups
South Africa’s lineup features out-half Marnie Libbok and flanker Marco van Staden, who will be making their first starts for the national team. The Wallabies have experienced duo Nic White and Quade Cooper at the helm, while Reece Hodge starts at No. 12, surprising some fans.
Head-to-Head Battle and Challenges
The Wallabies face a tough challenge against an understrength Springboks team that has sent a group of players in advance to prepare for their match against the All Blacks. Australia’s last victory over South Africa on their home soil dates back to 2011, making the task ahead even more challenging.
Starting teams Australia v SA
South Africa – 15 Willie le Roux, 14 Canan Moodie, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Kurt-Lee Arendse, 10 Manie Libbok, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Duane Vermeulen (captain), 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Marco van Staden, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Jean Kleyn, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Mbongeni Mbonambi, 1 Steven Kitshoff.
Replacements: 16 Joseph Dweba, 17 Thomas du Toit, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 Rudolph Snyman, 20 Evan Roos, 21 Deon Fourie, 22 Grant Williams, 23 Damian Willemse.
Australia: 15 Tom Wright, 14 Suliasi Vunivalu, 13 Len Ikitau, 12 Reece Hodge, 11 Marika Koroibete, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Nic White, 8 Rob Valetini, 7 Michael Hooper (co-captain), 6 Tom Hooper, 5 Will Skelton, 4 Nick Frost, 3 Allan Alaalatoa, 2 David Porecki, 1 James Slipper (co-captain).
Replacements: 16 Jordan Uelese, 17 Matt Gibbon, 18 Zane Nonggorr, 19 Richie Arnold, 20 Pete Samu, 21 Tate McDermott, 22 Samu Kerevi, 23 Carter Gordon.
With new faces on both sides and the desire for victory, the clash between South Africa and Australia in the Rugby Championship promises an exciting contest. Fans will be eagerly watching to see how the debutants and experienced players perform in this highly anticipated encounter.