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September 7, 2012

THE RUGBY CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND THREE PREVIEW - Australia versus South Africa at Patersons Stadium, Perth

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THE RUGBY CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND THREE PREVIEW - Australia versus South Africa at Patersons Stadium, Perth

By SANZAR Communications

The Wallabies will be searching for their first win in The Rugby Championship, while the Springboks will look to record their second win of the tournament in their first match against a traditional SANZAR rival.

Australia has ensured a tough start to their campaign, not only playing the World Champion All Blacks back-to-back, but suffering a catalogue of injuries, that has seen them lose two captains (James Horwill and David Pocock), while key players like James O’Connor, Wycliff Palu and Pat McCabe are still missing from action.

The Wallabies will be confident against the Springboks considering their strong recent record against them, with their 11-9 quarter-final win at last year’s World Cup being their fourth consecutive triumph.

The Springboks meanwhile return to Perth, their home away from home in Australia, winning three of six matches in Western Australia, but based on the reaction of the team after their 16-16 draw with Argentina, there could be a patriotic response from the team.

Meyer felt they let down the Republic.

“Very disappointed, we were not good enough. Youngsters need to step-up (and) we need to adapt. We will have to make hard decisions before we play Australia away from home."

The Wallabies have made three changes and one positional switch from the team that lost 22-0 to the All Blacks in Round Two, and it seems that they will turn to experience – and the need for speed.

Evergreen number eight in 36-year-old Radike Samo returns to the side, while Stephen Moore was set to become the Wallabies most capped hooker, moving past Jeremy Paul’s record of 72 games in the number two jersey for Australia - but has been replaced by Tatafu Polota-Nau, while Saia Fainga'a moves onto the bench.

But it is the inclusion of speed demon Dominic Shipperley for his test debut that points towards the possibility that the Wallabies will release the shackles – especially with Quade Cooper playing his second straight test match.

The Springboks will welcome a new debutant in Duane Vermeulen, one of five changes (two positional) for the team, with the Western Province flanker to run out at the back of the scrum.

Cheetahs flyhalf Johan Goosen could also earn his first South African cap, and the Free State faithful will be happy to see a player who was regarded as arguably the form ten during Super Rugby before injury cut short his campaign.

Adrian Strauss, if he comes through a final fitness test, will be included at hooker, while Ruan Piennar earns his first 2012 test start at scrumhalf.

Francois Hougaard moving from scrumhalf to left wing and Willem Alberts shifting from No 8 to flank are the positional changes.

MATCH DETAILS:

8 September 2012
Wallabies v Springboks
Patersons Stadium, Perth
Kick off (1835 local, 1035 GMT, 2235 NZT, 2035 NSW/ACT, 1235 SAT, 0735 ARG)
Referee: N Owens (WRU)
AR: W Barnes (RFU)
AR: G Jackson (NZRU)
TMO: M Goddard (ARU)

HEAD TO HEAD:

Played 74: Australia 32, South Africa 41, Drawn 1
Last match: Australia 11 – 9 South Africa @ Westpac Stadium, Wellington (RWC, 9 October, 2011)

Australia record at Paterson’s Stadium/Subiaco Oval: Played 11, Won 7, Lost 3, Drawn 1
Australia record at home: Played 249, Won 152, Lost 90, Drawn 7

South Africa record at Paterson’s Stadium/Subiaco Oval: Played 6, Won 3, Lost 2, Drawn 1
South African record away from home: Played 190, Won 108, Lost 74, Drawn 8

Point’s aggregate: Australia 1303, South Africa 1385 (18-19)
Tries aggregate: Australia 135, South Africa 165 (2-2)

RECENT MATCHES:

25 August, 2012: Australia 0 – 22 New Zealand (2nd round of The Rugby Championship)
18 August, 2012: Australia 19 – 27 New Zealand (1st round of The Rugby Championship)
23 June, 2012: Australia 20 – 19 Wales (4rd test June tour)
16 June, 2012: Australia 25 – 23 Wales (3rd test June tour)
9 June, 2012: Australia 27 – 19 Wales (2nd test June tour)
5 June, 2012: Australia 6 – 9 Scotland (1st test June tour)

25 August, 2012: South Africa 16 – 16 Argentina (2nd round of The Rugby Championship)
18 August, 2012: South Africa 27 – 6 Argentina (1st round of The Rugby Championship)
23 June, 2012: South Africa 14 – 14 England (3rd test June tour)
16 June, 2012: South Africa 36 – 27 England (2nd test June tour)
9 June, 2012: South Africa 22 – 17 England (1st test June tour)
9 October, 2012: South Africa 9 – 11 Australia (RWC QF)

TEAMS:

Australia: 15 Kurtley Beale, 14 Dominic Shipperley, 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 12 Berrick Barnes, 11 Digby Ioane, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Will Genia (c), 8 Radike Samo, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Dave Dennis, 5 Nathan Sharpe, 4 Sitaleki Timani, 3 Ben Alexander, 2 Tatafu Polota Nau, 1 Benn Robinson

Replacements: 16 Saia Fainga'a, 17 James Slipper, 18 Scott Higginbotham, 19 Liam Gill, 20 Nick Phipps, 21 Mike Harris, 22 Anthony Fainga'a

South Africa: 15 Zane Kirchner, 14 Bryan Habana, 13 Jean de Villiers (c), 12 Frans Steyn, 11 Francois Hougaard 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Willem Alberts, 6 Marcell Coetzee, 5 Juandre Kruger, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Adriaan Strauss, 1 Beast Mtawarira.

Replacements: 16 Tiaan Liebenberg, 17 Pat Cilliers, 18 Flip van der Merwe, 19 Francois Louw, 20 Johan Goosen, 21 Pat Lambie, 22 Lwazi Mvovo.