VIDEO: Wallabies focused and excited says returning skipper
The Wallabies will have plenty at stake when they take the field in the early hours of tomorrow morning against a buoyant Springboks in Port Elizabeth (1.05am AEST).
Following the disappointing loss on home soil to Argentina a fortnight ago, they go into this clash off the back of just two wins in their last nine tests, and a growing sense of concern amongst their fan base as to the path forward if they are to be a genuine contender at next year’s Rugby World Cup in Japan.
However, but for a rare Israel Folau last-minute brain snap against the Pumas, the discourse around this game could have been very different, and Australia can go in to the match with some confidence based on a positive recent history in clashes with South Africa. But the Boks are still purring from their titanic victory over the All Blacks in Wellington, and will be keen to kick-on in front of a home crowd turning out to welcome back their returning heroes.
Skipper Michael Hooper is back after missing the Argentina clash through injury, and gave his reflections on the disappointments of the Gold Coast result, the injury-enforced changes at hooker, and his final thoughts on the challenge ahead, to the assembled media in Port Elizabeth.
Video courtesy of Rugby AU
Wallabies v South Africa
Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth
Saturday 29 September, 5.05pm local (1.05am AEST Sunday)
Wallabies: 1. Scott Sio; 2. Folau Faingaa; 3. Taniela Tupou; 4. Izack Rodda; 5. Adam Coleman; 6. Ned Hanigan; 7. Michael Hooper (c); 8. David Pocock; 9. Will Genia; 10. Kurtley Beale; 11. Marika Koroibete; 12. Matt Toomua; 13. Reece Hodge; 14. Israel Folau; 15. Dane Haylett-Petty – Replacements:16. Brandon Paenga-Amosa; 17. Sekope Kepu; 18. Allan Alaalatoa; 19. Rory Arnold; 20. Rob Simmons; 21. Nick Phipps; 22. Bernard Foley; 23. Jack Maddocks