Springboks must face Cooper
August 26, 2010
Quade Cooper is back in action for the Wallabies © Getty Images
Springbok lock Victor Matfield will win his 100th Test cap when his side look to secure a morale-boosting victory over Australia in Pretoria on Saturday.
Coach Peter De Villiers has made two changes, with one predictably coming at fullback, where Frans Steyn is recalled. The Racing Metro back played 80 minutes for his club last Friday after more release wrangling and replaces the unlucky Gio Aplon - who drops out of the 22.
The other change comes in the centre, where Stormers youngster Juan de Jongh is replaced by his more experienced franchise team-mate Jaque Fourie, who has completed a four-week ban for a dangerous tackle.
Despite mounting speculation over his future, Quade Cooper has been restored to the Australia starting line-up.
The fly-half, who is currently mulling over a cross-code switch to the Parramatta Eels, was forced to sit out the Wallabies' recent defeats by the All Blacks in Melbourne and Christchurch after picking up a two-game ban for a spear challenge on Morne Steyn during last month's victory over the Springboks in Brisbane.
However, Cooper has been recalled for this weekend's meeting with the world champions in Pretoria in a move that sees Matt Giteau revert to inside centre and Anthony Faingaa drop to the bench.
South Africa: F Steyn (Racing Metro); JP Pietersen (Sharks), J Fourie (Stormers), J de Villiers (Western Province), B Habana (Stormers); M Steyn (Bulls), F Hougaard (Bulls); G Steenkamp (Bulls, J Smit (Sharks), J du Plessis (Sharks), F van der Merwe (Bulls) V Matfield (Bulls), S Burger (Stormers), J Smith (Cheetahs), P Spies (Bulls)
Replacements: C Ralepelle (Bulls), CJ van der Linde (Free State Cheetahs), D Rossouw (Bulls), R Kankowski (Sharks), R Januarie (Stormers), B James (Bath), J de Jongh (Stormers)
Australia: K Beale (NSW Waratahs); J O'Connor (Western Force), A Ashley-Cooper (Brumbies), M Giteau (Brumbies), Drew Mitchell (NSW Waratahs); Q Cooper (Queensland Reds), W Genia (Queensland Reds); B Robinson (NSW Waratahs), S Faingaa (Queensland Reds), S Ma'afu (Brumbies); D Mumm (NSW Waratahs), N Sharpe (Western Force); R Elsom (Brumbies, capt), D Pocock (Western Force), R Brown (Western Force)
Replacements: S Moore (Brumbies), J Slipper (Queensland Reds), B McCalman (Western Force), S Higginbotham (Queensland Reds), L Burgess (NSW Waratahs), B Barnes (NSW Waratahs), A Faingaa (Queensland Reds)
Referee: Alain Rolland (Ire)
"The thirst for knowledge has seen coaches break away from the confines of rugby and look to America." Tom Hamilton on the two-way learning process
On Saturday, New Zealand face the USA in a match that has been 40 years in the making. Tom Hamilton finds the atmosphere building in Chicago
Most modern rugby players will not know the name Ray Williams but they should be eternally grateful to him, writes John Taylor
With the All Blacks playing the USA Eagles this weekend, Craig Dowd says rugby is ready to make a professional breakthrough Stateside