Rugby Championship

Detect a more relaxed Springbok team on Saturday? Thank Nando's for it...

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Handre Pollard and Herschel Jantjies share a laugh. (Photo by Tertius Pickard/Gallo Images)
Handre Pollard and Herschel Jantjies share a laugh. (Photo by Tertius Pickard/Gallo Images)
  • If the Springboks appear more relaxed in their "rematch" with the Wallabies, it's a good bet that their freedom of movement played a big part.
  • Skipper Siya Kolisi on Friday said he and his team-mates are enjoying getting out and about in Brisbane, with a nearby Nando's encouraging many to see the sights.
  • Kolisi doesn't believe last week's flat performance was down to their 14-day quarantine upon arrival in Australia

If the Springboks appear to play like a load has been lifted off their shoulders on Saturday, thank the Nando's close to their hotel in Brisbane.

While skipper Siya Kolisi "couldn't honestly tell" you if their 14-day quarantine had anything to do with a rather flat performance in last week's 28-26 defeat to the Wallabies, he and his team-mates certainly have been enjoying their slice of normal life in the city.

There are currently no restrictions on the players' movements.

"It does feel good to walk around and go for a coffee when you want to," Kolisi said on Friday ahead of Saturday's Rugby Championship "rematch" with their hosts at Suncorp Stadium.

"There's a Nando's down the road and it's really helped to get the team out of the hotel. We're talking with people outside again and doing activities. It's been good."

Veteran flyhalf Morne Steyn in particular has been enjoying his time, notably sinking a hole-in-one during his round at Brookwater Country Club before catching up with former Stade Francais team-mate Will Genia.

Yet Kolisi also wanted to make it clear that only emerging from their "lockdown" two days before last week's match in no way contributed to their below-par showing previously because, as he rightly pointed out, the Springboks won the series against the Lions under very strict conditions.

"I honestly can't tell you if the quarantine affected us," he said.

"It was great getting out. We'd been spending a lot of time with the Argentinians over the past few weeks and that was good too, but it's great to be out. 

"But I really don't think we can blame the isolation for last week. We had exactly the same arrangement during the Lions tour and we were fine then. Nothing makes anything easier, but I wouldn't have blamed it. We were still able to train and do our work."

National coach Jacques Nienaber adopted a similar line earlier this week.

"I really thought our performance last week was more down to technical things. Our discipline wasn't always up to standard and our first-time tackling could've been better," he said.

Kick-off is at 09:05 (SA time) on Saturday.

Teams:
Australia

15 Tom Banks, 14 Andrew Kellaway, 13 Len Ikitau, 12 Samu Kerevi, 11 Marika Koroibete, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Nic White, 8 Rob Valetini, 7 Michael Hooper (captain), 6 Lachlan Swinton, 5 Matt Philip, 4 Izack Rodda, 3 Taniela Tupou, 2 Folau Fainga'a, 1 James Slipper

Substitutes: 16 Feleti Kaitu'u, 17 Angus Bell, 18 Tom Robertson, 19 Darcy Swain, 20 Pete Samu, 21 Tate McDermott, 22 Reece Hodge, 23 Jordan Petaia

Springboks

15 Willie le Roux, 14 Sbu Nkosi, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Franco Mostert, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Trevor Nyakane

Substitutes: 16 Malcolm Marx, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 Marco van Staden, 20 Kwagga Smith, 21 Jasper Wiese, 22 Herschel Jantjies, 23 Damian Willemse

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