Palmerbet Sports Team packs down with Rugby Union tips for the Wallabies’ first Test of 2019, the Rugby Championship opener against South Africa.
01:05 (AEST), Sun 21st Jul @ Ellis Park, Johannesburg
History: Played 87: South Africa 47 V Australia 37 (3 Draws)
Last meeting: September 29, 2018: South Africa 23 d Australia 12 at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Final Thoughts: South Africa and Australia get the 2019 Rugby Championship underway in Johannesburg. With the Rugby World Cup looming large, both down-on-confidence nations will be eager for some strong showings in the truncated tournament.
The Wallabies endured a wretched 2018, winning just four of 13 Tests. It hasn’t gotten any better for Australian rugby this year, with only the Brumbies making the Super Rugby playoffs as the code was shrouded in the Israel Folau saga.
The Springboks won half of their 14 Tests last year. They upset the All Blacks in Wellington but also endured some dismal losses to Northern Hemisphere sides.
Overseas-based halfback Nic White is set to be a surprise starter ahead of Will Genia. Bernard Foley gets the No.10 jersey with Christian Lealiifano injured, while Tom Banks receives the nod to take Folau’s fullback spot. Isi Naisarani makes his debut at No.8 in an otherwise relatively experienced pack.
Meanwhile, the Springboks have named a decidedly under-strength team in a contentious move from coach Rassie Erasmus. Debutant halfback Herschel Jantjies will pair up with Elton Jantjies in the halves, while flanker Rynhardt Eltadt gets his first cap.
This rivalry has overwhelmingly favoured the home side in recent years. Neither team has managed an away victory in their last 10 meetings. Australia have not won in South Africa since 2011.
Last season the Wallabies prevailed 23-18 in Brisbane. The Springboks won the return bout in Port Elizabeth 23-12. The last seven clashes have been decided by 1-12 margins.
South Africa boast a 9-1 record at Ellis Park against Australia, whose only win at the venue was in 1963.
The hoodoo will be tough to shake, but the Wallabies hold plenty of value as a $2.52 underdog against a second-string host.
RUGBY CHAMPIONSHIP TIPS
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