Oz trio spell danger for Boks

Matt Giteau (Gallo Images)
Matt Giteau (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Playmakers Matt Giteau, Quade Cooper and Will Genia return to the Wallabies starting line-up for their Rugby Championship Test against the Springboks in Brisbane on Saturday.

Giteau will earn his 93rd Test cap in the No 12 jersey following a four-year absence from the Wallabies programme.

 Playing inside Giteau will be the Reds pairing of Genia and Cooper, who return to the run-on team together for the first time since November 2013.

The returning trio make up three of the four total changes to the team which ran out against England at Twickenham in the final Test of the 2014, with the other change being the return of Tevita Kuridrani at outside centre.

The return of these playmakers could spell danger for the Springboks, especially if the South Africans do not stamp their authority on matters up front.

Enough front-foot ball could see the Aussie trio wreck havoc.

Wallabies coach, Michael Cheika, is excited by having the trio in his starting line-up.

“With new combinations comes a new level of energy to our team environment and Will, Quade and Matt certainly bring that,” Cheika told Australian Rugby’s official website.

“Matt is a true professional and his impact on the team dynamic has been immediate. His form in Toulon and work ethic since joining the squad has been first class.

“I could not have been happier with the first two weeks of preparation here in Queensland. These players know they represent a squad of over 50 players who will have some involvement within the Wallabies programme at different stages of the year.”

Kick-off for Saturday’s clash at Suncorp Stadium is scheduled for 12:05 (SA time).

Teams:

Australia:

15 Israel Folau, 14 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Matt Giteau, 11 Rob Horne, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Will Genia, 8 Scott Higginbotham, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Scott Fardy, 5 Rob Simmons, 4 Will Skelton, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Stephen Moore (captain), 1 James Slipper

Substitutes: 16 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 17 Scott Sio, 18 Greg Holmes, 19 James Horwill, 20 David Pocock, 21 Nick Phipps, 22 Matt Toomua, 23 Drew Mitchell

South Africa:

15 Willie le Roux, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Handré Pollard, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Schalk Burger, 7 Marcell Coetzee, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Victor Matfield (captain), 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Beast Mtawarira

Substitutes: 16 Adriaan Strauss, 17 Heinke van der Merwe, 18 Frans Malherbe, 19 Lood de Jager, 20 Oupa Mohoje, 21 Cobus Reinach, 22 Pat Lambie, 23 Lwazi Mvovo

 

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