Preview: South Africa v Australia in the Rugby Championship
The long-awaited clash between South Africa and Australia in the Rugby Championship is set to take place this weekend. Both teams have named their rosters for Game 1, and there are some interesting selections from both sides.
Rookie and change of captain in South Africa
Former Irish 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 tier. Former Ulster number 8 Duane Vermeulen will lead the team as captain, replacing injured Siya Kolisi.
New faces in Australian programming
The Wallabies, under coach Eddie Jones, included several rookies in their matchday squad. Tom Hooper, the Brumbies’ rising star, will start at No. 6. Hooper’s versatility and dedication make him a valuable addition to the team. Suliasi Vunivalu, a former NRL star, will also make his debut after a brief appearance on the bench last year.
Key Players and Lineups
The South African roster includes half-back Marnie Libbok and flanker Marco van Staden, who will make their first national team starts. The Wallabies have enjoyed duo Nic White and Quade Cooper at the helm, while Reece Hodge starts at No.12, surprising some fans.
One-on-one battles and challenges
The Wallabies face a tough challenge against an under-strength Springbok side who have sent a group of players up front to prepare for their game against the All Blacks. Australia’s last victory over South Africa on home soil was in 2011, which makes the task even more difficult.
Starting squads 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 how both newbies and experienced players perform in this highly anticipated encounter.
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