Battle lines drawn for Bloemfontein
September 1, 2010
Hooker Stephen Moore is in line for his 50th Test for the Wallabies this weekend © Getty Images
South Africa and Australia have tinkered with their teams for the Mandela Plate decider in Bloemfontein on Saturday.
Springboks coach Peter de Villiers has made just one change to his side as they look to follow up their 44-31 victory over the Wallabies in Pretoria last weekend. Danie Rossouw comes into the second row at the expense of Flip van Merwe who drops to the bench.
In the only other change to their squad, Gip Aplon is drafted onto the bench in the place of Butch James who misses the game through injury. The starting XV boasts a total of 750 Test caps making it the most experienced Springboks side ever.
"I wasn't tempted to make more changes; all our focus is on this one game and we can only take our future planning from there afterwards," said Boks coach Peter de Villiers following the team announcement.
"There is still the Mandela Cup to play for and whilst we do not play only to win trophies we do see them as just reward for hard work. So hopefully our hard work will pay off and we can celebrate a win at the weekend."
Australia coach Robbie Deans has made three changes to his side with hooker Stephen Moore, lock Mark Chisholm and No.8 Ben McCalman all getting the nod for the Vodacom Park clash with Saia Faingaa, Dean Mumm and Richard Brown dropping out.
Nathan Sharpe, an injury doubt after hurting his ankle during last week's defeat, has been passed fit, but Scott Higginbotham is out - the Queensland flanker injured his back in the warm-up ahead of that match at Loftus Versfeld. Hooker Moore will win his 50th cap for Australia, along with winger Drew Mitchell.
"All three of the players coming into the pack will offer us energy," said Deans. "It's obviously a big night for Stephen, as well as for Drew, but Mark and Ben also have big opportunities ahead of them. "
The Australians have not won a Test while playing at altitude in South Africa for almost 50 years - their last win came in 1963.
South Africa: F Steyn (Racing Metro); JP Pietersen (Sharks), J Fourie (Stormers), J de Villiers (Stormers), B Habana (Stormers); M Steyn (Bulls), Francois Hougaard (Bulls); G Steenkamp (Bulls), J Smit (Sharks), J du Plessis (Sharks); D Rossouw (Bulls), V Matfield (Bulls); S Burger (Stormers), J Smith (Cheetahs), P Spies (Bulls)
Replacements: C Ralepelle (Bulls), CJ van der Linde (Cheetahs), F van der Merwe (Bulls), R Kankowski (Sharks), R Januarie (Stormers), J de Jongh (Stormers), G Aplon (Stormers).
Australia: K Beale (NSW Waratahs); J O'Connor (Western Force), A Ashley-Cooper (Brumbies), M Giteau (Brumbies), D Mitchell (NSW Waratahs); Q Cooper (Queensland Reds), W Genia (Queensland Reds); B Robinson (NSW Waratahs), S Moore (Brumbies), S Ma'afu (Brumbies), M Chisholm (Brumbies), N Sharpe (Western Force), R Elsom (Brumbies) D Pocock (Western Force), B McCalman (Western Force).
Replacements: S Faingaa (Queensland Reds), J Slipper (Queensland Reds), D Mumm (NSW Waratahs), R Brown (Western Force), L Burgess (NSW Waratahs), B Barnes (NSW Waratahs), A Faingaa (Queensland Reds).
Referee: Wayne Barnes (Eng)