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South Africa vs Australia - Weakened South Africa face a tough task against Wallabies
New-look South Africa lineup faces tough test
A weakened Springbok side featuring some relatively unfamiliar faces will look to get one over Australia. (Getty Images)
South Africa vs Australia Betting Options & Advice
South Africa's 2019 Rugby Championship campaign gets underway against the Wallabies at Ellis Park on Saturday. Rassie Erasmus has taken a major gamble for this match with his team selection and a game which the Springboks would usually be clear favourites for now looks like it will go to the wire.
South Africa Talking Points & Team News
The Springboks head into this fixture with one eye on the upcoming match against the All Blacks. Head coach Rassie Erasmus confirmed the decision to send 15 players to New Zealand this week to prepare for next week's clash.
Eben Etzebeth leads the new-look Springbok side in the absence of regular captain Siya Kolisi. There are some exciting prospects in the team including scrum-half Herschel Jantjies and fullback Warrick Gelant.
South Africa are paying 1.50 for the win and 26.00 for the draw and so there is little value with them even though they stand a decent chance of winning on home soil.
Australia Talking Points & Team News
The altitude at Ellis Park can make life difficult for touring sides, but Australia dealt with this by travelling early to Johannesburg. Their preparation has not been altogether ideal, as Taniela Tupou was reportedly the victim of a robbery outside the team hotel.
Australia's dreadful record of nine losses from 13 matches last year makes for grim reading if you are a Wallabies fan and the ongoing Israel Folau saga has made life difficult.
Tom Banks is a capable replacement at fullback for the man who has been at the centre of a storm created by his homophobic tweets, placing him at odds with Australia's rugby authorities.
So Australia find themselves in a similarly difficult predicament to South Africa, but they at least have a strong squad to help them push through tough times. The Wallabies are paying 2.60 for the win and 1.90 in the +5.5 handicap market.
South Africa vs Australia Past Meetings
South Africa have won seven of their last 10 home matches against the Wallabies, losing two and drawing one.
Port Elizabeth's Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium saw the Springboks win 23-12 last year. Handré Pollard was instrumental with the boot on that day but Elton Jantjies starts at flyhalf this time.
South Africa vs Australia Key Areas
South Africa will look to hurt Australia at set pieces while the Wallabies can wreak havoc with an explosive backline. It isn't quite the same without Folau though and there is pace missing out wide for Michael Cheika's men.
This game is a tight one to call, but for this reason, backing underdogs the Wallabies in the +handicap market may be the way to go in terms of earning value for money.
Best Bet: Australia +5.5 Handicap @ 1.90 at Hollywoodbets – 4 Units