Rugby Championship

Nyakane: Boks growing closer as 'brothers'

2017-09-07 12:15
Trevor Nyakane (Getty)
  Video

Saturday's Rugby Championship clash in Perth will be a case of the Wallaby backs v the Springbok pack, says Mark Keohane.

Cape Town - The Springboks of 2017, at this stage, look a different side to the Springboks of 2016. 

Coach Allister Coetzee's charges go into Saturday's Rugby Championship clash against Australia in Perth having won five from five this year. 

At the same stage of 2016, the Boks were three from five having already lost to Ireland and Argentina and things were about to get much worse. 

It has led to a renewed optimism among South African rugby supporters this year and, according to prop Trevor Nyakane, the side currently finds itself in a good mental space. 

"It's been a great week so far for us. We've been preparing and doing all our homework," the 28-year-old said on Thursday.

"The group is in a different space. We enjoy each other's company and we've become a lot closer as brothers and a team as we used to be.

"At this point in time everything is going well and we can't wait to get onto the field and let it show."

The Wallabies are slight favourites going into the match, based largely on how close they came to beating the All Blacks two weekends ago in Dunedin. 

"It's not going to be an easy one. We realise that we're not just going to come here and it's going to happen ... we're going to have to do the job," Nyakane said.

"They're also desperate for a win and we want to continue on the path we've been on.

"It's going to be a big challenge and a big game."

Nyakane will earn his 31st Test cap when he comes off the bench on Saturday, but only two of those have been starts. 

Still, he is relishing the opportunity to be involved. 

"Every time you get an opportunity to represent your country you have to be excited about it," he said.

"We can't wait to get on the field an do what we've been preparing for all week."

Kick-off on Saturday is at 17:00.

Teams:

Australia

15 Israel Folau, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Kurtley Beale, 11 Reece Hodge, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Will Genia, 8 Sean McMahon, 7 Michael Hooper (captain), 6 Ned Hanigan, 5 Adam Coleman, 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 Scott Sio

Substitutes: 16 Jordan Uelese, 17 Tom Robertson, 18 Allan Alaalatoa, 19 Rob Simmons, 20 Jack Dempsey, 21 Nick Phipps, 22 Samu Kerevi, 23 Curtis Rona

South Africa

15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Raymond Rhule, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Uzair Cassiem, 7 Jaco Kriel, 6 Siya Kolisi, 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 Eben Etzebeth (captain), 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Beast Mtawarira

Substitutes: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Trevor Nyakane, 19 Lood de Jager, 20 Jean-Luc du Preez, 21 Francois Hougaard, 22 Handre Pollard, 23 Damian de Allende

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