South African captain Siya Kolisi is wary of what new Wallabies No.10 Kurtley Beale will bring to the host’s attack when they meet in Brisbane on Saturday.
Both sides have tweaked their squads for the must-win Rugby Championship clash, with Springbok hooker Malcolm Marx and n five-eighth Bernard Foley relegated to the bench.
But Kolisi says his men are equipped to stifle Beale’s attacking prowess and overcome a poor Brisbane record.
“Putting Kurtley Beale there, obviously they want to attack, he’s a very good attacking fly-half,” Kolisi said of the move to bench Foley for the first time since 2014.
The Wallabies have notched their two biggest victories against the Springboks at Suncorp Stadium, while the South Africans have won just three of their last 14 Tests away from home.
In the visitor’s favour is the late scratching of serial breakdown pest David Pocock (neck), who had kept the Springboks on high alert this week.
“We know they’re very smart and good at the breakdown as well. Two of the best in the world,” Kolisi said of Pocock and Michael Hooper before news of Pocock’s withdrawal surfaced.
“But you can’t really just watch him, because if we just watch him then Michael Hooper will have a go as well.”
They will still need to contend with returning fullback Israel Folau (ankle) successfully completing Friday’s captain’s run.
“Dammit,” coach Rassie Erasmus smirked when told of Folau’s healthy status.
“No i’m joking; he’s world-class we’ve got to counter aerially, he’s the best in the world in the air.
“I want these guys to experience that if we want to have a realistic chance of being a world class team.”
Erasmus’ decision to make six changes from the side that lost 32-19 to Argentina last month raised eyebrows in the n camp, with Wallabies coach Michael Cheika wondering aloud on Thursday if they had become a side opposition teams rested their best against.
The newly installed captain said the side’s long-term focus was on next year’s World Cup in Japan, but has backed Saturday night’s side to deliver knowing that wins remained essential along the way.
“There would be nothing better than executing the coach’s plan while winning,” he said.
“Obviously people will look at it differently because of the loss (to Argentina) but we knew three weeks ago of these changes.”