But Aussies no pushovers

Meshack Khotha

After three convincing wins in recent Tests, the Springboks are fancied to beat Australia in their opening Tri-Nations match at Newlands tomorrow.

A positive start against the Wallabies will be a huge boost for the South Africans, who tackle the All Blacks in Durban next Saturday.

Coach Jake White showed how determined he is to win tomorrow's game when he recalled 11 players, who were rested, to bolster the squad.

He kept only four players in the starting line-up who featured against Samoa at Ellis Park Stadium last Saturday.

They are captain John Smit, prop BJ Botha and wings Ashwin Willemse and JP Petersen.

Bok manager Zola Yeye said the rested players looked positive at training this week.

"Everybody showed hunger and enthusiasm to represent his country with pride,'' said Yeye.

He said they would dedicate this game to Youth Day.

White should advise his boys not to underestimate the Australians because several key players who missed the Super 14 campaign will be back in action.

Scrumhalf Ruan Pienaar will start his first match for the Boks while fullback Percy Montgomery will be looking to extend his record of 702 points in Tests.

The trio of Smit, Botha and Gurthro Steenkamp will play their first Test as a front-row combination.

The squad: Percy Montgomery, Ashwin Willemse, Jaque Fourie, Jean de Villiers, JP Petersen, Butch James, Pienaar, Pierre Spies, Juan Smith, Schalk Burger, Victor Matfield, Bakkies Botha, BJ Botha, Smit (C), Steenkamp.

Replacements: Gary Botha, Johann Muller, Danie Rossouw, Michael Claassens, Wynand Olivier, Francois Steyn.