Chris Latham’s international season went full circle when he was re-instated to the Australia side for this weekend’s Tri-Nations Test against South Africa.
Chris Latham’s international season went full circle when he was re-instated
to the Australia side for this weekend’s Tri-Nations Test against South Africa.
The inclusion of the Queensland full-back in place of Matt Burke is the only
change Australia coach Eddie Jones made to the side that suffered a record defeat
by New Zealand in Sydney last Saturday.
Latham began the season in the 15 jersey before a jittery performance against
England, when he repeatedly lost the ball in contact, saw him not only replaced
in the starting line-up, but dropped altogether from the squad.
But Burke, who has scored 851 Test points and lies only 60 behind national record-holder
Michael Lynagh, has failed to convince Jones he is a credible alternative and
slips to the bench.
With Jones committed to playing Mat Rogers at outside centre, where he was as
one of Australia’s rare bright sparks against the All Blacks, Latham returns
to the starting XV at full-back.
Australia are seeking to avoid equalling an unwanted record set 21 years ago
– the last time they lost four Tests in a row.
Jones made three alterations on the bench, with exciting youngster Matt Giteau
back in the Wallaby frame for the first time since the November tour after he
proved his recovery from a fractured knee with an impressive display for the
Canberra Vikings at the weekend.
Jeremy Paul, also axed after the England defeat, returns in place of Adam Freier
as back-up to Brendan Cannon while Queensland prop Glenn Panoho replaces the
injured Ben Darwin, who requires surgery on knee cartilage damage.
Jones, therefore, keeps faith with both George Smith and Phil Waugh on the flanks
and Elton Flatley at inside centre.
Australia side to face South Africa in Saturday’s Tri-Nations Test in Brisbane:
C Latham (Queensland Reds); W Sailor (Queensland Reds), M Rogers (NSW Waratahs),
E Flatley (Queensland Reds), L Tuqiri; S Larkham (ACT Brumbies), G Gregan (ACT
Brumbies, captain); B Young, B Cannon (NSW Waratahs), P Noriega, D Giffin, D
Vickerman (NSW Waratahs), G Smith, P Waugh, T Kefu (Queensland Reds).
Replacements: J Paul, G Panoho (Queensland Reds), N Sharpe (Queensland Reds),
O Finegan, C Whitaker, M Giteau (ACT Brumbies), M Burke.
Andre Pretorius; Stefan Terblanche, Jorrie Muller, De Wet Barry, Ashwin Willemse;
Louis Koen, Craig Davidson; Robbie Kempson, Danie Coetzee, Richard Bands, Selborne
Boome, Victor Matfield, Corne Krige (capt), Joe van Niekerk, Juan Smith.
Replacements: Dale Santon, Lawrence Sephaka, Bakkies Botha, Wikus van Heerden,
Joost van der Westhuizen, Gcobani Bobo, Brent Russell.
South Africa coach Rudolf Straeuli has made wholesale changes to his side for
Saturday’s Tri-Nations match against Australia.
Straeuli has decided to make six changes in the wake of the 52-16 defeat by
New Zealand in Pretoria two weeks ago.
Craig Davidson comes into the side in place of veteran scrum-half Joost van
der Westhuizen, while Cats fly-half Andre Pretorius takes over at full-back
from Brent Russell.
The uncapped Jorrie Muller will join De Wet Barry in the centre in place of
the injured Andre Snyman.
Prop Robbie Kempson and lock Selborne Boome will start for the first time in
this year’s Tri-Nations and Cats flanker Joe van Niekerk will play his first
Test of the year after injury.
Van Niekerk replaces Wikus van Heerden on the openside while Kempson comes
in for Lawrence Sephaka, with Boome taking over from Bakkies Botha.
“There are players who have paid the price for an unacceptable performance
against the All Blacks and there are players who have been rotated in our effort
to establish a squad capable of starting in any given Test during the World
Cup,” Straeuli said.
Straeuli said he was particularly hopeful that Pretorius could inspire the
Springboks from full-back.
“He is a wonderful attacking player and a very good kicker, which gives
us more options,” he said.