South Africa v Australia: Everything you need to know

Updated: 

Australia will be wary of a South Africa backlash in Bloemfontein on Saturday following their record Rugby Championship hammering by New Zealand.

The Springboks received an eight-try, 57-0 drubbing at the hands of the world champions in Albany earlier this month.

South Africa's heaviest defeat against the All Blacks ended their six-match unbeaten run and head coach Allister Coetzee is expecting a positive response this weekend.

Full-back Dillyn Leyds will make his first Test start and flanker Francois Louw returns after Coetzee made four chances to his squad.

Australia have historically struggled at altitude, so Wallabies fans may not be holding their breath expecting a victory at Toyota Stadium.

The two sides, realistically battling for second spot behind New Zealand, played out a 23-23 draw in Perth before Michael Cheika's men beat Argentina 45-20 last time out.

Izack Rodda, Jack Dempsey and Marika Koroibete will make their first Australia Test starts.

 

HEAD TO HEAD

South Africa: 46
Australia: 36
Draw: 2

 

KEY PLAYERS

Francois Louw (South Africa) - The experienced Louw returned to his homeland from Bath after getting the call to play in his first Test for a year. The 32-year-old is eager to make up for lost time and could have a major influence on who comes out on top.

Israel Folau (Australia) - The wing has made more metres than any other player in this year's Rugby Championship so far and also ranks third for defenders beaten, second for offloads and second for line breaks. Australia will need more of the same on Saturday.

 

THE LINE-UPS

South Africa: Andries Coetzee, Dillyn Leyds, Jesse Kriel, Jan Serfontein, Courtnall Skosan, Elton Jantjies, Ross Cronje; Tendai Mtawarira, Malcolm Marx, Ruan Dreyer, Eben Etzebeth, Franco Mostert, Siya Kolisi, Francois Louw, Uzair Cassiem.

Australia: Israel Folau, Marika Koroibete, Tevita Kuridrani, Kurtley Beale, Reece Hodge, Bernard Foley, Will Genia; Scott Sio, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Sekope Kepu, Izack Rodda, Adam Coleman, Jack Dempsey, Michael Hooper, Sean McMahon.

 

PRE-MATCH TALK

Allister Coetzee (South Africa): "We have buried Auckland. It was a sub-standard performance from us that is now in the past as we plan a turn-around strategy. The key now is how we respond against the Wallabies - it is going to be massive."

Michael Hooper (Australia) on coping with the thin air at altitude: "We know it's going to be tough 10 minutes in. It's not just for us solely; the South Africans have to do it as well. They've been out our way in the last couple of weeks and their bodies will have to get used to it."

 

OPTA STATS

- The Springboks have won eight of their last nine home games, only losing to New Zealand in that time last year.

- South Africa's last game at Toyota Stadium was in 2010 when they lost 39-41 to Australia, ending a run of five victories at the venue spanning 2002-2009.

- Bernard Foley is set to win his 50th cap for the Wallabies, he needs just one more point to become the fourth player to score 500 points for Australia.

- The Springboks have averaged more kicks from hand (24) and fewer passes (132) or carries (104) than any other side in the Rugby Championship this season.

- South Africa's Malcolm Marx tops the charts for turnovers won (8) in this tournament so far.