The Wallabies are banking on the mercurial attacking talents of Israel Folau and Quade Cooper to turn around their Rugby Championship fortunes against South Africa in Brisbane.
Australia have lost both their opening two Tests of the southern hemisphere series and with it the trans-Tasman Bledisloe Cup to New Zealand, while the Springboks are unbeaten in the tournament after back-to-back wins over Argentina.
South Africa vs Australia rugby live stream : Ewen McKenzie is looking to the return of playmaker Cooper and the switching of Folau from wing to fullback to ignite the Wallabies’ attack and kick-start their campaign as he seeks his first victory as Australia coach.The Springboks have not won in their past eight visits to Brisbane and Heyneke Meyer’s men are looking for their first success in Australia in four years.
McKenzie has recalled Cooper at fly-half for Matt Toomua and shifted Folau from the wing, where he had limited opportunities against the All Blacks, to fullback at the expense of Jesse Mogg. Nick Cummins comes onto the right wing for his seventh international cap.It is the first time Cooper, out of favour under previous coach Robbie Deans, has played at number 10 for Australia since the Wallabies defeated South Africa and Argentina in back-to-back Tests in September last year.McKenzie, who replaced Deans after Australia’s 2-1 home series loss to the British and Irish Lions in July, is confident he has a potent mix with Cooper and Folau in place to overcome South Africa.
“We have very specific thoughts about how we want to play this game and feel Quade is best suited to carrying that out,” he said. “There’s an innate ability there, especially one-on-one (with Folau).“If you can create those one-on-one opportunities, it doesn’t matter how good the (Springbok) guy is in defence. Even if he (Folau) does get tackled, he still gets the ball away, so he’s hard to contain.”Meyer believes South Africa will take on one of the best backlines his team has faced with Cooper and Folau the focal points.
South Africa vs Australia 2013 live stream : “You look at this team and it’s a really full-on attack team,” Meyer said.“They know we have travelled so they will really try to run our forwards flat and tired.“Without talking them up too much I think this is probably one of the best backlines we have faced, and not just this year.”Meyer has made three changes and two positional switches from the team that beat the Pumas 22-17 in Mendoza in August.Hooker Bismarck du Plessis, lock Flip van der Merwe and fullback Zane Kirchner have been drafted in, with Willie le Roux shifted from fullback to the right wing in place of Bjorn Basson and Bryan Habana chosen on the left wing.
“A few of these changes are purely rotational in order to give guys with fresh legs a go, while others are simply a case of horses for courses,” Meyer said.“We’re fortunate to be in a position to rotate players of the calibre of Bismarck and Adriaan (Strauss), while we felt this was the right opportunity to give Flip and Zane a go in the starting team.“In the end, the most important factor still remains consistency in selection. In our squad, any player can slot in at any stage, and that is a good position to be in.”The Wallabies suffered a blow with the withdrawal of skipper James Horwill with a hamstring injury, making way for Kane Douglas to partner Rob Simmons at lock and Scrum-half Will Genia takes over the captaincy. South Africa vs Australia rugby live streaming 2013
Australia – Israel Folau; Nick Cummins, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Christian Lealiifano, James O’Connor; Quade Cooper, Will Genia (capt); Ben Mowen, Michael Hooper, Scott Fardy; Kane Douglas, Rob Simmons; Sekope Kepu, Stephen Moore, James Slipper.
Replacements: Saia Faingaa, Scott Sio, Ben Alexander, Ben McCalman, Jake Schatz, Nic White, Matt Toomua, Jesse Mogg.
South Africa – Zane Kirchner; Willie le Roux, JJ Engelbrecht, Jean de Villiers (capt), Bryan Habana; Morne Steyn, Ruan Pienaar; Duane Vermeulen, Willem Alberts, Francois Louw; Flip van der Merwe, Eben Etzebeth; Jannie du Plessis, Bismarck du Plessis, Tendai Mtawarira.
Replacements: Adriaan Strauss, Gurthro Steenkamp, Coenie Oosthuizen, Juandre Kruger, Siya Kolisi, Jano Vermaak, Pat Lambie, Jan Serfontein.South Africa’s second goal is to score a four-try bonus point to keep their hopes of winning the Championship alive going into their final match against the New Zealanders next week at Ellis Park.The Boks are four points adrift of the All Blacks on the standings and cannot lose even the slightest bit of ground.
The Kiwis play Argentina in La Plata in the early hours of Sunday morning and should secure at least four points from that match.
But as Bok coach Heyneke Meyer said: "There is no next week if we lose to Australia."
The Springboks simply cannot lose sight of their first objective in pursuit of the second.
Although the Boks have won five of six post-isolation meetings against Australia at Newlands, they are always close contests, with the home team enjoying an average winning score of 20-19.and even though the Springboks dominated their first meeting of the year in Brisbane three weeks ago, this should be a tighter contest.Australia are still smarting from that 38-12 home loss, but are quietly confident of causing what would be a supreme upset."All we’ve read and heard about this week is how much the Boks are going to beat us by," Wallaby coach Ewen McKenzie said. "We’re looking forward to the opportunity to challenge that."The return of lock James Horwill and tighthead prop Ben Alexander, who missed the first game, will add some necessary power for Australia, but the Boks’ pack hardly has a weakness and the home team’s bench is loaded with heavy artillery.
With rain expected to fall until lunch time on Saturday the chances of open, running rugby are slim. Even in the dry, the Boks would still spend up to an hour using their pack to wear the Aussies down before opening up in the last quarter.Meyer has made only one change to the pack that won in Brisbane. Adriaan Strauss comes in for Bismarck du Plessis. They hardly lose anything with that rotation.The recall of veteran scrumhalf Fourie du Preez to start will improve the Boks’ tactical kicking game and also their option taking. In potentially tricky conditions those two skills will be vital to success.But the game will be won and lost up front and despite Australia’s moderate improvement their pack does not have the firepower to go 80 minutes with the Boks.
Zane Kirchner, Willie le Roux, JJ Engelbrecht, Jean de Villiers (captain), Bryan Habana, Morne Steyn, Fourie du Preez, Duane Vermeulen, Willem Alberts, Francois Louw, Flip van der Merwe, Eben Etzebeth, Jannie du Plessis, Adriaan Strauss, Tendai Mtawarira. Replacements: 16-Bismarck du Plessis, 17-Gurthro Steenkamp, 18-Coenie Oosthuizen, 19-Juandre Kruger, 20-Siya Kolisi, 21-Ruan Pienaar, 22-Pat Lambie, 23-Jan Serfontein.
Israel Folau, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Tevita Kuridrani, Christian Leali’ifano, Joe Tomane, Quade Cooper, Nic White, Ben Mowen, Michael Hooper, Scott Fardy, James Horwill (captain), Rob Simmons, Ben Alexander, Stephen Moore, James Slipper. Replacements: 16-Saia Fainga’a, 17-Benn Robinson, 18-Sekope Kepu, 19-Sitaleki Timani, 20-Ben McCalman, 21-Will Genia, 22-Matt Toomua, 23-Chris Feauai-Sautia. The referee is Jerome Garces (France)