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Australia, South Africa ring changes for Rugby Championship rematch

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Nic White moves up from the bench to replace Tate McDermott at scrum half in a half back partnership with Quade Cooper, who kicked a clutch penalty to secure last week’s 28-26 win on the Gold Coast in his first Test for four years.

The other changes for the Lang Park Test were in the front row where Taniela Tupou gets his first start of the campaign at tighthead prop in place of Allan Alaalatoa, who has returned home for the birth of his child.

James Slipper returns on the other side of the front row in place of Angus Bell, who is named on the bench as one of two replacement props alongside recalled tighthead Tom Robertson, who is set to play his first test since 2018.

Lock Darcy Swain, who missed last week’s Test after suffering an injury in the last of three losses to the All Blacks, is also named on the bench in place of Rob Leota.

Flanker Michael Hooper will captain his country for a record 60th Test, overtaking the long-standing mark of Wallabies great George Gregan.

Meanwhile, South Africa will be without key lock Lood de Jager – one of two changes by Coach Jacques Nienaber for the must-win game.

De Jager suffered a concussion in the 28-26 defeat in the Gold Coast on Sunday and his absence will be keenly felt in the second row.

He has been replaced by the less experienced Marvin Orie, who will add to his six caps and partner schoolboy friend Eben Etzebeth at lock, in what is the first time they have played together in a Test match.

Elsewhere, prop Trevor Nyakane takes over from Steven Kitshoff at loose head in the front row, with the latter dropping to the bench in the place of Ox Nche. The Boks are still without wing Cheslin Kolbe, who missed the defeat by Australia with a leg injury. South Africa will likely have to win their remaining three games in the Rugby Championship to retain the title they won in 2019, which includes the fixture against the Wallabies and then two Tests versus New Zealand.

The teams

South Africa: 15 Willie le Roux, 14 Sbu Nkosi, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Faf de Klerk; 1 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 3 Frans Malherbe, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 5 Marvin Orie, 6 Siya Kolisi (c), 7 Franco Mostert, 8 Duane Vermeulen.

Australia: 15 Tom Banks, 14 Andrew Kellaway, 13 Len Ikitau, 12 Samu Kerevi, 11 Marika Koroibete, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Nic White; 1 James Slipper, 2 Folau Fainga’a, 3 Taniela Tupou, 4 Izack Rodda, 5 Matt Philip, 6 Lachie Swinton, 7 Michael Hooper, 8 Rob Valetini. (Agencies)

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