South Africa will miss Bryan Habana in the Tri-Nations rugby Test against Australia on Saturday, but Wallaby wing Lote Tuqiri has a healthy respect for new Springbok wing Jongi Nokwe.
“Bryan is world-class but the South Africans have a remarkable ability to produce speedy wings,” Tuqiri said here on Tuesday.
“I did not watch the match between the Springboks and Argentina and I did not see Jongi’s try, but I played against him in the Super 14. He is one of those players coming through.”
Stephen Nell writes in Die Burger that Springbok coach Peter de Villiers on Tuesday presented Nokwe with an opportunity to build on his impressive Test debut against Argentina by selecting him to replace the injured Habana for Saturday’s match in Durban.
With Peter Grant also on the list of injured players, De Villiers had no other option but to retain Butch James at flyhalf.
James came second against New Zealand’s Dan Carter in last week’s Test at Newlands and he now has to show his mettle against Australia’s Matt Giteau.
Created many chances
The Wallaby pivot feels James can make up for his performance against the All Blacks by playing well on his home ground.
Giteau has been confident all week about Australia’s chances in Durban but says the Springboks were not compensated for the good rugby they played against New Zealand.
“They created many chances but they were unable to finish,” he said. “However, New Zealand had control and that enabled Carter to dictate matters.
“It does not matter what the Springboks did last week. We are confident about this match. This squad have confidence in their ability.”
The Springboks are under pressure to win to retain their mathematical chance of winning the series.
“I expect them to fight back but there will be a lot of pressure on them,” Giteau said.
“Our match against them in Perth was intense and physical but this one will be a step higher.”
Talking about his opposite number he said, “Butch is a very good player. It’s hard to play against him. He kicks well, he is aggressive and he has the skills to create things.”Tweet