Bryan Habana will definitely not play, but Os du Randt should wear the No 1 jersey against the Wallabies at Ellis Park on Saturday.
Both missed Tuesday afternoon’s training session at St Stithians College. Habana has been diagnosed with concussion and must rest. “We will have to do without Bryan on Saturday,” Springbok coach Jake White confirmed after practice. “But Os will definitely play. We are just resting him as he is carrying a few niggles.”
Du Randt has ongoing knee problems and also took a knock to the head that required stitches. He has also suffered from all the extra rugby this year, but managed one of his better performances for the Boks against the all Blacks at the weekend.
Habana has also been off-colour this year, but also was much improved in the narrow win, scoring an intercept try and making several telling tackles.
In his absence the backline will have a new-look to it. Fourie du Preez will partner Andre Pretorius at halfback, while Jean de Villiers and Jaque Fourie will re-unite as the midfield pair.
White had Wynand Olivier running at left wing at practice, with JP Pietersen at fullback in the continued absence of Percy Montgomery. Akona Ndungane was at right wing.
“We are going to try a few things among the backs. Guys like (England’s) Josh Lewsey and (Australia’s) Lote Tuquiri play at both outside centre and wing and I just might try Wynand there. And JP also gives me a chance to see what he is capable of at this level.”
The Wallabies ask far different questions than the All Blacks and the Boks will be hoping their pack can give them the platform to launch what promises to be an expansive game.
“I know it is a clichÃ©, but the tight fives win the games and Saturday will be no different. We need to be on top of our game if we are to stop that team.”
By Andrew Hollely