It’s time for round two of the 2022 Rugby Championship this Saturday, as the Southern Hemisphere quartet contest the second on the their opening double-headers.
The Springboks take on the All Blacks at the altitude of Johannesburg’s Emirates Airline Park, with South Africa looking to condemn New Zealand to yet another international rugby defeat.
Then it’s the turn of Argentina and Australia in South America, with the Wallabies boasting the upper hand over Los Pumas after round one.
South Africa vs New Zealand
South Africa meet New Zealand for the second week running in the Rugby Championship, with Emirates Airine Park the vertiginous venue.
The Springboks smell blood, too, with the opportunity to hammer what could be a final nail into the coaching coffin of All Blacks chief Ian Foster.
A 26-10 victory for the hosts at a raucous Mbombela Stadium last Saturday was just reward for an on-message Bok performance.
They were even able to shrug off the early loss of Faf de Klerk to injury, as well as a late red card for Kurt-Lee Arendse against a rattled, error-strewn Kiwi side.
Both miss this week’s clash in Johannesburg, with Arendse banned as well as injured from his misjudged aerial challenge.
Jesse Kriel is the steady-away choice to replace the wing, while Jaden Hendrikse comes in to start at scrum-half.
A training ground knee knock for Bongi Mbonambi, meanwhile, sees new Stormers signing Joseph Dweba called up at hooker.
Shannon Frizell comes into the starting side for the All Blacks as they look to make amends on the Highveld.
Foster has also promoted Richie Mo’unga to start at fly-half, while youth and experience both come on to the replacements bench in the shape of uncapped Fletcher Newell and the seasoned Codie Taylor.
South Africa Starting XV: 15 Damian Willemse, 14 Jesse Kriel, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Jaden Hendrikse , 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Siyamthanda Kolisi (captain), 5 Lodewyk de Jager, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Joseph Dweba, 1 Retshegofaditswe Nche.
Replacements: 16 Malcolm Marx, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 Franco Mostert, 20 Albertus Smith, 21 Hershel Jantjies, 23 Willie le Roux.
New Zealand Starting XV: 15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Will Jordan, 13 Rieko Ioane, 12 David Havili, 11 Caleb Clarke, 10 Richie Mo’unga, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Ardie Savea, 7 Sam Cane (captain), 6 Shannon Frizell, 5 Scott Barrett, 4 Sam Whitelock, 3 Tyrel Lomax, 2 Samson Taukei’aho, 1 Ethan de Groot.
Replacements: 16 Codie Taylor, 17 George Bower, 18 Fletcher Newell, 19 Tupou Vaa’i, 20 Akira Ioane, 21 Finlay Christie, 22 Beauden Barrett, 23 Quinn Tupaea.
Argentina vs Australia
Argentina and Australia square up in the Rugby Championship again on Saturday, with the hosts needing a hefty turnaround in fortunes to seal a first win of the 2022 campaign.
The Wallabies were 41-26 winners a week ago in Mendoza, sticking the boot firmly into for coach Michael Cheika and his Los Pumas charges.
It wasn’t the perfect start, though, with Quade Cooper’s injury adding to the pre-match withdrawal of captain Michael Hooper.
And it’s gone downhill since for coach Dave Rennie and his ever-depleting resources, with Allan Alaalatoa flying home after a family bereavement and Hunter Paisami suffering a suspected concussion.
James O’Connor is drafted in to pilot things from fly-half, with Lalakai Foketi earning a second Test rugby cap in the midfield alongside a recalled Len Ikitau.
There are four Los Pumas changes for the San Juan clash, too, as Gonzalo Bertranou, Matias Moroni and Emiliano Boffelli are all promoted into a shuffled backline.
Thomas Gallo also weighs into the front row in place of Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro.
Argentina Starting XV: 15 Juan Cruz Mallía, 14 Emiliano Boffelli, 13 Matias Orlando, 12 Jerónimo de la Fuente, 11 Juan Imhoff, 10 Santiago Carreras, 9 Gonzalo Bertranou,, 8 Pablo Matera, 7 Marcos Kremer, 6 Juan Martín González Samso, 5 Tomás Lavanini, 4 Matías Alemanno, 3 Francisco Gómez Kodela, 2 Julian Montoya (captain), 1 Thomas Gallo.
Replacements: 16 Agustin Creevy, 17 Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, 18 Joel Sclavi, 19 Facundo Isa, 20 Rodrigo Bruni, 21 Tomas Cubeli, 22 Tomas Albornoz, 23 Lucio Cinti.
Australia Starting XV: 15 Tom Wright, 14 Jordan Petaia, 13 Len Ikitau, 12 Lalakai Foketi, 11 Marika Koroibete, 10 James O’Connor, 9 Nic White, 8 Rob Valetini, 7 Fracer McReight, 6 Jed Holloway, 5 Darcy Swain, 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Taniela Tupou 2 Folau Fainga’a, 1 James Slipper (captain).
Replacements: 16 Lachlan Lonergan, 17 Matt Gibbon, 18 Pone Fa’amausili, 19 Nick Frost, 20 Pete Samu, 21 Tate McDermott, 22 Irae Simone, 23 Reece Hodge.
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|Chance of winning (%)||Points margin|