Springboks make 2 XV changes for All Blacks and rejig bomb squad

Lood de Jager, who was ruled out last time due to concussion, is recalled for Marvin Orie while Kwagga Smith is promoted from the replacements in place of the benched Franco Mostert.

The Springboks coach has also decided to reconfigure the shape of his bomb squad bench, going for a split of five forwards and three backs on this occasion rather than the usual six/two split. Following criticism of the excluded Damian Willemse, Elton Jantjies and Frans Steyn are the new players amongst the replacements.

Rampant All Blacks prepare to roll out big guns against Springboks in Townsville

With his decision to omit key players from Saturday night's match against Argentina justified by the 36-13 win in Brisbane, All Blacks coach Foster's next job is to plot ways to make the Springboks' stay in Australia even more miserable.

Australian backs shine in South African win

After upsetting South Africa 28-26 on the Gold Coast six days ago, with a Quade Cooper penalty after the siren, the Wallabies' running game shone in the Suncorp Stadium twilight as centre Len Ikitau and winger Marika Koroibete each scored a brace of tries.

Koroibete's second try put the Australians 13 points up with 12 minutes left and they defended brilliantly to turn over the ball in front of their posts twice to protect the lead to the finish.

Cooper kicks Wallabies to famous win

A surprise recall in Dave Rennie's side, Cooper split the middle of the posts from 40 metres out on an angle after scrumhalf Nic White swooped with a turnover after the ball squirted out of the Springboks' scrum in a frenetic finish.

Cooper racked up 23 points in a flawless night off the tee, slotting seven penalties and a conversion, with Andrew Kellaway scoring the Wallabies' lone try in the 17th minute as they shelved their running game to upset the world champions.

Boks too good for Pumas

Both tries came in the second half, and the Springboks will be disappointed they could not score more to earn a bonus point in a dominant performance until a scrappy last 15 minutes.

Argentina scored a late try from loose-forward Pablo Matera, but they largely found the unyielding home defence too difficult to break down.

The teams were due to share a charter flight to Australia tomorrow, but championship organisers are discussing where and when the competition will continue due to COVID-19 travel regulations in New Zealand that have left plans on hold.


Boks make 10 changes

Coach Jacques Nienaber says they do not mean to "disrespect" Argentina with the changes from the team that won the Lions series 2-1, but with five test matches on consecutive weekends, there is a concern over player welfare after the Springboks did not play for 20 months following their 2019 World Cup triumph.

Elton Jantjies has taken over at flyhalf, with the hero from Sunday's 19-16 win over the Lions, Morne Steyn, among the replacements. Cobus Reinach has retained his place at scrumhalf.

Springboks in isolation putting games in doubt

All the South Africa players are self isolating after close contact with De Jager and will remain cloistered in their hotel rooms until a new round of tests are conducted, SA Rugby said.

The second such incident in a week in the Springbok camp could force a cancellation of the second test, scheduled for Johannesburg's Ellis Park on Friday.

Springboks to name first squad since World Cup win

The Boks have not played a test since they lifted the Rugby World Cup in Japan in November 2019, missing out on the entire 2020 season because of South Africa's hard lockdown restrictions due to Covid-19.

But any notion that there may be a shake-up of personnel in the close to 18 months since the final in Yokohama was dispelled by Nienaber ahead of the announcement on 5 June of a squad of 45 players for the Lions series.

Boks will do what it takes to play Lions

The Lions are scheduled to tour South Africa for eight matches between July 3 and Aug. 7 this year, including three tests against the world champion Springboks.

But with all nations involved in the grip of the COVID-19 crises, the series remains in serious doubt in its current form.

A decision is likely to be made next month, but Erasmus says from a Bok point of view they are ready to look at all scenarios to ensure the tests go ahead.

Boks still to decide on Rugby Championship

Rugby South Africa says "several hurdles needed to be cleared if it is to be confirmed" that the Springboks participate in the four-nation Southern Hemisphere championship in Australia from November 7 to December 12.

The South African government lifted the ban on international sporting participation one week ago but SA Rugby said it was seeking further clarification on the regulations.

"A final decision is likely to be finalised early next week once those clarifications had been assessed internally and with SA Rugby's SANZAAR partners," a statement added.