Australia v South Africa in Brsibane (Tri Nations)
Australian rugby is in trouble following last week's loss to South Africa in Perth. Head Coach Robbie Deans as made some expected changes but those changes mean less experienced players are in for more experienced, although out of form, players. The lack of depth and experience in Australian rugby may well be cruelly exposed in Brisbane
Will Genia means a change at halfback for Australia but his inclusion adds to the number of very inexperienced Australia rugby test players.
Image thanks to http://www.rugby.com.au/qantas_wallabies/photo_galleries/2009/qantas_wallabies_v_springboks_2,133709.html
South Africa are at the top of their game. But Springbox captain John Smit believes that the winning margins on the field show that there isn't a great deal between the teams."You look at the points difference and the games played - the fact that we've won four - but there certainly is not that kind of difference on the field between the three teams. The three teams are still hosting the top three spots in world rugby and at any one stage we could have lost and we still can lose a game."
So, can Australia lift their performance for one last bash at the Springbox before the Aussies regroup. Australia will play against New Zealand in Wellington and again in Tokyo for the decider of the Bledisloe Cup. Then they head to Europe for tests against England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales for a Grand Slam tour.
For South Africa a comfortable win here will land the Tri Nations in their grasp. A win here will only leave New Zealand between South Africa and a first Tri Nations Grand Slam.
Experienced players like Victor Matfield over shadow the less experienced Wallabies.
Image thanks to http://www.sarugby.net/gallery.aspx?page=0&leagueid=&fixturescatid=&resultscatid=&vidcatid=&piccat=&statscatid=2,9&statsteam=South Africa&newscat=
Last Five Encounters
29.08.2009 South Africa 32-25 in Perth (Tri Nations)
08.08.2009 South Africa 27, Australia 19 in Capetwon (Tri Nations)
30.08.2008 South Africa 53, Australia 8 in Johannesburg (Tri Nations)
23.08.2008 Australia 27-15 in Durban (Tri Nations)
19.07.2008 Australia 16-9 in Perth (Tri Nations)
Last Five Tests in Brisbane
15.07.2006 Australia 49-0 (Tri Nations)
02.08.2003 Australia 29-9 (Tri Nations)
27.07.2002 Australia 38-27 (Tri Nations)
17.07.1999 Australia 32-6 (Tri Nations)
02.08.1997 Australia 32-20 (Tri Nations)
South Africa last won in Brisbane back in 1971 when they won 14-6
GWC Rugby Rankings: World Table-South Africa 1st, Australia 3rd
Prediction: South Africa by 12
15 James O'Connor, 14 Lachie Turner, 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 12 Berrick Barnes, 11 Drew Mitchell, 10 Matt Giteau, 9 Will Genia, 8 George Smith (capt), 7 David Pocock, 6 Rocky Elsom, 5 Mark Chisholm, 4 James Horwill, 3 Ben Alexander, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 Benn Robinson.
Replacements: 16 Stephen Moore, 17 Pek Cowan, 18 Dean Mumm, 19 Wycliff Palu, 20 Luke Burgess, 21 Quade Cooper, 22 Peter Hynes.
Head Coach: Robbie Deans
15 Ruan Pienaar, 14 Odwa Ndungane, 13 Jaque Fourie, 12 Jean de Villiers, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Morne Steyn, 9 Fourie du Preez, 8 Pierre Spies, 7 Juan Smith, 6 Heinrich Brüssow, 5 Victor Matfield, 4 Bakkies Botha, 3 John Smit (c), 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Replacements: 16 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 17 Jannie du Plessis, 18 Danie Rossouw, 19 Schalk Burger, 20 Ricky Januarie, 21 Adi Jacobs, 22 Frans Steyn .
Head Coach: Peter de Villiers