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VIDEO: Rennie expects 'grumpy' Boks Down Under

Wallaby coach Dave Rennie expects a fierce backlash from the Springboks when the two teams go head-to-head in the Rugby Championship.


Australia hosts South Africa in Adelaide on August 27 and in Sydney a week later.

With the tournament evenly balanced – each team with a win and a loss after two rounds – weeks three and four will be decisive.

The Boks depart South Africa on Thursday on the back of a 23-35 home loss to New Zealand at Ellis Park this past weekend, having stunned the All Blacks 26-10 in their Rugby Championship opener in Nelspruit the week before.

Australia come off similar results – beating Argentina 41-26 in Round One in Mendoza, but suffered a humiliated 17-48 loss in Round Two in San Juan.


Rennie described as “embarrassing” their performance this past weekend.


The Wallaby coach said the Springboks will be a ‘massive challenge’.

“You look at the Springbok side, it’s very, very strong,” he said of the Boks.

“They are almost at full strength.

“They’ll be grumpy after their second Test lost to the All Blacks, so we’re well aware of what’s coming,” Rennie added.


The Wallaby coach felt the Boks are also still smarting from last season’s two defeats to the Aussies – 26-28 on the Gold Coast and 17-30 in Brisbane.

“Last year’s couple of wins [by the Wallabies in the Rugby Championship] will create a bit more edge for the Springboks,” Rennie said.

“We’re going to have to be at our best, no doubt and it’s a massive series for us.”

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The other big topic for discussion was the continued absence of captain Michael Hooper for ‘persona reasons’.

Hooper pulled out of the team’s two-match tour of Argentina a day before their opening clash on August 6 and jetted home, saying he was not in the “right mindset” to lead his country.

Rennie said he had spoken to the 121-Test veteran since their return from Argentina.

However, he was not willing to provide any clarity as to the ‘personal’ reasons.

“We’re not in a position to discuss that in detail,” the coach told an online media briefing, adding: “We’ve got no firm timeline as to when he will return.”


* Additional reporting by AFP & AAP

* Watch the full Dave Rennie media briefing below …

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