With the elimination of the Brumbies from the Super Rugby Pacific title race, Australian rugby fans now have their sights set on the upcoming Wallabies Test on July 9 (AEST). This match against the world champion Springboks in Pretoria marks the beginning of the Rugby Championship and Eddie Jones’ return as the Wallabies coach. Despite the Brumbies’ loss to the Chiefs in the 19-6 semi-final, Jones can take solace in their competitiveness. However, the Super Rugby champion will once again come from New Zealand as the defending champion Crusaders face off against Hamilton in the final. Don’t miss the 2023 Super Rugby Pacific final on Stan Sport, the home of rugby. Catch all the matches streaming ad-free, live and on demand.
History shows that Australian teams have struggled on New Zealand soil, having lost all 16 Super Rugby finals games. The last non-Kiwi winner was Michael Cheika’s Waratahs in 2014. Speaking on Stan Sport, Wallabies legend Tim Horan expressed both excitement and nervousness about the upcoming Test match in South Africa. He believes it’s incredibly difficult to win there but fondly remembers a thrilling match in Adelaide last year, which the Wallabies won 25-17. However, the Springboks bounced back with a 24-8 win in Sydney. The clashes between these two teams are always intense, and with 52,000 fans at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria, it’s a tough place to secure a victory.
The All Blacks emerged as the winners of the 2022 Rugby Championship, sharing a 4-2 record with South Africa but earning an additional bonus point. The Wallabies finished third with a 2-4 record, prompting Eddie Jones to demand an immediate improvement from his players after taking over as coach in January. The key question is how to confront the Springboks, especially in the forward pack. Horan suggests a possible backrow selection that includes Langi Gleeson, Rob Valetini, and Pete Samu, with Michael Hooper potentially coming off the bench. Jones still has some time to make his decision, but one thing is for sure – it will be an exciting Test match.
Following the clash with the Springboks in Pretoria, the Wallabies will face Argentina in Sydney on July 15. These two matches will be crucial for Jones as he experiments with his team. After these games, it’s important to establish a consistent lineup leading up to the World Cup.
For the latest breaking news and exclusive content from Wide World of Sports, subscribe to our newsletter. Stay updated on Eddie Jones’ remarkable career by checking out our collection of pictures, showcasing his journey from hooker and teacher to master coach, as he once again leads the Wallabies.
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Hasibur Rahaman is a passionate sports journalist. He covers everything from cricket to field hockey, delivering up-to-the-minute updates and in-depth analysis of sporting events, both within India and on the international stage.