Australia makes 4 changes, all in pack, for Springboks test

PORT ELIZABETH, South Africa — Australia made four changes Thursday, all of them in the forwards, for the Rugby Championship test against South Africa this weekend.

Prop Taniela Tupou will make his first test start on Saturday in Port Elizabeth after a run of strong performances off the bench, while captain Michael Hooper is back in the starting lineup after missing the home loss to Argentina on Sept. 15. Hooper's return at openside flanker means David Pocock switches back to No. 8.

Ned Hanigan comes in at blindside flanker for Lukhan Tui, who didn't travel for family reasons, and Adam Coleman is in the starting 15 and will partner Izack Rodda in the second row. Rory Arnold drops to the bench.

Australia's backline was unchanged, keeping Kurtley Beale at flyhalf and Matt Toomua at inside center.

The Springboks, rejuvenated by a surprise win in New Zealand, will give first starts to wing Cheslin Kolbe, a tryscorer against the All Blacks off the bench, and No. 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe. Notshe replaces Warren Whiteley, who is injured.

South Africa also has a changed center pairing of Andre Esterhuizen and Jesse Kriel after injuries to Damian de Allende and Lukhanyo Am. Tendai Mtawarira returns at loosehead prop for Steven Kitshoff.

The teams have headed in opposite directions since Australia won their meeting in Brisbane nearly three weeks ago. The Wallabies followed up that success with a surprise home loss to Argentina, putting the pressure back on coach Michael Cheika.

The Springboks, off back-to-back losses that had coach Rassie Erasmus talking about the possibility of being fired, won in New Zealand for the first time in nearly a decade.

South Africa's 36-34 victory over the world champions in Wellington meant there is still a slim chance the Boks can prevent New Zealand from securing a third straight southern hemisphere title and a sixth in the last seven years.

___

More AP sports: https://apnews.com/tag/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

People also read these

Cameroon faces being dropped as African Cup host

Sep 29, 2018

Cameroon faces being stripped of its hosting duties for next year's African Cup of Nations soccer...

Mohamed Salah leaves Egypt match with injury

Oct 12, 2018

Egypt's assistant coach says Mohamed Salah's injury "doesn't look serious" after the Liverpool...

Hayatou's reign ends as African soccer head and...

Mar 16, 2017

Issa Hayatou has been voted out as president of the African soccer confederation after 29 years and...

Ethiopian marathoner who made Rio protest returns...

Oct 21, 2018

Ethiopian marathoner who made anti-government gesture at Rio finish line returns from exile

Kenyan athletics head Kiplagat dies after a long...

Aug 24, 2016

Athletics Kenya'a suspended president, Isaiah Kiplagat, has died after a long illness

Sign up now!

Daily Sprinter delivers the cutting-edge content from game reports to viral videos for our audiences worldwide. Our passionate writers strive to deliver a unique approach to the hottest sports news.

Contact us: sales[at]dailysprinter.com