Wallabies braced for strengthened Springboks
August 9, 2011
Fourie du Preez in training with the Springboks on Monday © Getty Images
The Wallabies are preparing to take on a Springboks side brimming with World Cup-winning experience in their Tri-Nations clash on Saturday, as Peter de Villiers appears set to name a close to full-strength line-up for the match at Kings Park.
After taking a relatively inexperienced squad on the two-Test tour of Australia and New Zealand, de Villiers is expected to name 10 players from the 2007 World Cup triumph in his starting XV. The Springboks coach will call upon the likes of Danie Rossouw, Victor Matfield and captain John Smit, whilst half-back Fourie du Preez is in line to make his first Test appearance since 2009, and legendary hooker Bismarck du Plessis is likely to take his place on the bench.
"It's clearly a different Boks side to the one we met in Sydney," Wallabies coach Robbie Deans told AAP. "It's essentially the incumbent World Cup squad that will be running out.
"Obviously they [the first-choice Springboks] have been sitting here and wouldn't have enjoyed the recent fixtures and you've got a World Cup coming and the squad hasn't been picked yet, so they've got an awful lot to play for."
"With experience, rust isn't an issue. We saw that last weekend with the All Blacks' performance. That was the most experienced All Black side yet and they were right on song.''
Deans says his side will be up for the challenge, despite the strength in depth within the Springboks' squad. Australia's coach is hoping the Wallabies players will use the atmosphere in Durban to rise to the occasion.
"The great thing about playing in South Africa is it doesn't matter where you play, you're playing in a great cauldron. Kings Park is one of the great rugby stadiums, so we do enjoy that."
Wallabies flanker David Pocock believes the Springboks will also be motivated by last week's humbling 40-7 loss to New Zealand.
"They're a proud rugby nation and like any losing team they would have copped it in the media for the last however many weeks," Pocock said.
"They'll be very keen to put that behind them and the combination of a home game, a sold out Kings Park, and also just having some experienced guys coming back into the squad, that's all really going to lift them. So we respect them."
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