South Africa and Australia are no strangers in the Junior World Championship, the Baby Boks having run out convincing 32-5 winners when the sides met in the third place play-off in Japan last year to replicate their finish of 12 months earlier.
The IRB reports that Baby Boks coach Eric Sauls has reverted to the starting XV who opened the tournament against Tonga with Sevens speedster Sampie Mastriet having shaken off a slight knock to return to the right wing at the Estadio CA Colon in the 16:10 kick-off.
“We’ve had a relatively good build up to the Australian game and the players are focused in terms of what is expected of them,” said Sauls.
“Like any other World Championship game, we are treating this match as a must win game in order for us to confirm ourselves as a semi final contender. But we know Australia are in the same position. They will also be aiming to bag a win on Sunday and secure a semi final spot, so it’s going to be a close and tough game between two southern hemisphere nations.”
His Australian counterpart David Nucifora meanwhile has made a number of changes, reverting to a line up similar to that which beat Scotland 58-13 in their opening match with captain Jake Schatz and fly half Matt Toomua returning after starting on the bench against Tonga last time out.
Aidan Toua, who scored a hat-trick on day one against Samoa, moves to his third position in as matches and will line up on the left wing having played on the opposite flank and also at full back. Salesi Manu is another player making a switch, from one side of the front row to the other.
“Definitely, you never want to lose really, but especially to a South Africa or New Zealand side and playing last year and losing was probably not ideal. This year we want to make up for it, especially as it will guarantee a semi final place,” admitted Schatz.
“It is obviously going to be a challenge and all the boys are keen to play and excited about the game ahead. It will be a real test for us. I think it will be a pretty big step up, obviously South Africa are a powerful rugby nation, as Australia are, and I think the two teams will play their brand of footy.”
1 Brummer Badenhorst, 2 Monde Hadebe, 3 Marcel Van Der Merwe, 4 Keny Okafor, 5 Sebastian De Chaves, 6 Siya Kolisi, 7 Hendrik Van Der Walt, 8 CJ Stander (Capt), 9 Louis Schreuder, 10 Elton Jantjies, 11 Wandile Mjekevu, 12 Francois Venter, 13 Jaco Taute, 14 Sampie Mastriet, 15 Patrick Lambie.
Reserves: 16 Francois Du Toit, 17 Ruan Dreyer, 18 Wessel Du Rand, 19 Mlungisi Bali, 20 Lubabalo Mtembu, 21 Branco Du Preez, 22 Nico Scheepers.
1 Salesi Manu, 2 Siliva Siliva, 3 Paul Alo-Emile, 4 Phoenix Battye, 5 Gregory Peterson, 6 Edward Quirk, 7 Liam Gill, 8 Jake Schatz (Capt), 9 Justin Turner, 10 Matt Toomua, 11 Aidan Toua, 12 Robbie Coleman, 13 Kimami Sitauti, 14 Dominic Shipperley, 15 Luke Morahan.
Reserves: 16 Samuel Robertson, 17 Cruze Ah-Nau, 18 Luke Jones, 19 Lachlan McCaffrey, 20 Nicholas White, 21 Jonathon Lance, 22 Gregory Jeloudev.