New look Wallabies face Springboks tonight

Tonight the Wallabies will look to kick their Rugby Championship campaign into gear when they face the Springboks in Brisbane. Both sides have had shaky international seasons so far, although in fairness to the Wallabies all five of their matches have been against the two best teams in the world.

Michael Cheika has re-jigged the team after the humiliation of the two matches against New Zealand, with the biggest change coming at five-eighth where Bernard Foley has been dropped to the bench, with Kurtley Beale moving to fly half for the first time since 2014 and Matt Toomua coming in at 12.

We can probably expect to see Toomua and Beale sharing responsibilities at first receiver in the manner of Foley and Beale, although it will be interesting to see how effective Beale is in attack without his partner in crime.

In the Wallabies forwards the front row which forced a scrum try against the All Blacks has been retained, with Taniela Tupou coming onto the bench to replace Sekope Kepu. Rory Arnold comes into the second row to try and add some attacking punch, with Izack Rodda relegated to the bench and Rob Simmons dropped entirely. The back row is unchanged, although Ned Hanigan replaces Pete Samu on the bench and will help shore up the line-out when he comes on.

In the rest of the Wallabies backline only Will Genia, Reece Hodge and Marika Koroibete retain their places from the Bledisloe matches, with Israel Folau returning from injury at fullback and pushing Dane Haylett-Petty to the wing. On the bench Joe Powell has taken the reserve halfback spot from Nick Phipps.

The Springboks have also shaken up their team, with Elton Jantjies taking over at fly half for the Brisbane clash with the Wallabies. Malcolm Marx, who rivals David Pocock as the biggest breakdown pest in rugby, has been shifted to the bench in a surprise move.

With both teams experimenting with their playmaking combinations this match could be a cracker. Beale and Jantjies are certainly not known for keeping their powder dry, so expect to see fireworks. In a high scoring game the class of the Wallabies, with Bernard Foley combining with Beale late in the game, should see them get over the top at home.

Christian Woods
Christian Woods
Christian is a morning reporter and technology columnist for Best in Australia. Christian has worked in the media since 2000, in a range of locations. He joined Best in Australia in 2018, and began working in Melbourne in 2019.
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