Australia loose forward Phil Waugh could be back in the starting lineup to face the Springboks in the Vodacom Tri-Nations Test in Sydney.
This on the back of a woeful display by the Wallaby back row against the All Blacks in their 13-9 defeat in Brisbane last weekend. They had no answer to Richie McCaw’s breakdown dominance and coach John Connolly is said to be looking at making a change to the loose trio.
“I think there might be a back row change but I’m not sure where it’s going to be,” Waugh told reporters on Tuesday. “Hopefully, I’ll be there but we’ll just have to see what happens.”
Waugh, in partnership with George Smith, has been the bane of the Springboks in previous encounters and could once again expose Jake White’s refusal to selected a quality specialist open side flanker. Solly Tyibilika is likely to be the man entrusted with the role, but a poor performance against the All Blacks a fortnight ago doesn’t breed confidence.
The 26-year-old has started Australia’s last six Tests on the bench, winning his 49th cap after coming on against the All Blacks, and he believes his team are in for a tough game against South Africa, despite their recent 49-0 win over the Springboks.
“This is a very important game for us,” he said. “Coming off a disappointing loss last week, we need to get back on the horse and get the season going again. So it’s a huge game. I don’t think there’s any risk of a letdown.”
Victory is paramount of both teams, with the Springboks looking to secure their first win of the tournament and launch a come-from-behind attempt at the trophy. The Wallabies want to exert as much pressure on the unbeaten All Blacks, who only have to win once more to lift the trophy for the sixth time.