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Kwagga: Boks ready for Oz Test

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Kwagga Smith of South Africa during the 2021 British and Irish Lions Tour South Africa Captains Run at Cape Town Stadium on 23 July 2021 ©Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

With the All Blacks currently topping the Rugby Championship log after winning their first three games, the Springboks simply have to win this match against Australia.

SPRINGBOK replacement flanker Kwagga Smith believes they can turn the tide against Michael Hooper and his Wallabies teammates tomorrow in Queensland.

Aiming to bounce back after last weekend’s heartbreaking last-minute 28-26 defeat to the same opposition, South Africa take the field at the Suncorp Stadium at 9.05am before New Zealand and Argentina lock horns at the same venue at 12.05pm.

With the All Blacks currently topping the Rugby Championship log after winning their first three games, the Springboks simply have to win this match against Australia to push the All Blacks for the title in the two remaining matches against their rivals.

And Smith believes they have what it takes to bounce back. “We felt really disappointed after the game [last week], we could have closed it out. There were a lot of opportunities in that game.

“We slipped up in a few areas – luckily it’s stuff we can fix. We will be ready for the weekend …”

Smith, who will play off the bench, believes the Bomb Squad can be the difference in the encounter.

“We will bring energy to the team. The players work really hard from the start and they need to get fresh energy from us.”

Opposing them, Hooper will become the most-capped Wallabies skipper in his 60th match as leader.

Of once again facing the Aussie “Energizer bunny”, Smith says: “I love it to play against him – played against him a lot in Super Rugby and now at Test level.

“He’s a really good player … he can go 80 minutes every game. He’s going to be at his best and you’ve got to be at your best.”

AUSTRALIA vs SOUTH AFRICA SQUADS

Australia (15-1): Tom Banks, Andrew Kellaway, Len Ikitau, Samu Kerevi, Marika Koroibete, Quade Cooper, Nic White, Rob Valetini, Michael Hooper (captain), Lachlan Swinton, Matt Philip, Izack Rodda, Taniela Tupou, Folau Fainga’a, James Slipper. Bench (16-23): Feleti Kaitu’u, Angus Bell, Tom Robertson, Darcy Swain, Pete Samu, Tate McDermott, Reece Hodge, Jordan Petaia.

Springboks (15-1): Willie le Roux, Sbu Nkosi, Lukhanyo Am, Damian de Allende, Makazole Mapimpi, Handré Pollard, Faf de Klerk, Duane Vermeulen, Franco Mostert, Siya Kolisi (captain), Marvin Orie, Eben Etzebeth, Frans Malherbe, Bongi Mbonambi, Trevor Nyakane. Bench (16-23): Malcolm Marx, Steven Kitshoff, Vincent Koch, Marco van Staden, Kwagga Smith, Jasper Wiese, Herschel Jantjies, Damian Willemse.

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