Goosen looks set to start

Johan Goosen spent Tuesday’s training session running at flyhalf, indicating strongly that he is likely to run-on against Australia at Loftus on Saturday.

In my experience, because of time constraints in terms of preparation, Springbok coaches have had to show their selection hand in the Tuesday session. Goosen lined up in what is almost certainly the starting side, while Morne Steyn worked defence with the players opposing them.

Goosen made good impressions in his short stints off the bench against the Wallabies in Perth and All Blacks in Dunedin. He has been the man most have called for to replace the struggling Steyn and it appears coach Heyneke Meyer will entrust him with a big part of the responsibility for galvanising the team’s attack.

Meanwhile, it appears Frans Steyn will recover from a rolled ankle in time for the Test. He made significant improvements overnight, and while he was still on crutches at the session as a precaution, my understanding is that he will play.

‘The X-rays were clear and the swelling has settled nicely. We’re hoping to get him to do some training on Wednesday,’ said Springbok team doctor Craig Roberts.

Flip van der Merwe (lock, calf), Jacques Potgieter (flank, groin) and Lwazi Mvovo (wing, hamstring) did not train with the squad on Tuesday and will be managed accordingly. A final call on their availability will be made later in the week.

Elsewhere in the team, Eben Etzebeth looks set to return to action after a suspension and will partner Andries Bekker in what appears to be the only other change from the side that lost to the Blacks in Dunedin.

Likely Springboks XV- 15 Zane Kirchner, 14 Francois Hougaard, 13 Jean de Villiers, 12 Frans Steyn, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Johan Goosen, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Duane Vermuelen, 7 Willem Alberts, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Andries Bekker, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Adriaan Strauss, 1 Beast Mtawarira.

Read last week’s exclusive interview with Johan Goosen here

By Ryan Vrede, in Johannesburg

Follow Ryan on Twitter
Follow SA Rugby magazine on Twitter