Boks rely on new hookers

PERTH - Buoyed by their historic win over the All Blacks last weekend, the South Africans are confident their rookie hookers can get the job done in the Tri-Nations Test against Australia in Perth tomorrow.

PERTH - Buoyed by their historic win over the All Blacks last weekend, the South Africans are confident their rookie hookers can get the job done in the Tri-Nations Test against Australia in Perth tomorrow.

Springbok coach Peter de Villiers announced his squad for the match yesterday, recalling Pierre Spies, Francois Steyn and Conrad Jantjes to his starting XV.

Spies replaces Joe van Niekerk, Steyn comes in for the injured Adrian Jacobs and Jantjes was recalled at the expense of 98-Test veteran Percy Montgomery, who didn't even make the reserves, which included five forwards.

The Wallabies have already identified the unsettled Springbok lineout as a possible weakness, with South African captain John Smit missing due to groin surgery and understudy Bismarck du Plessis suspended.

Schalk Brits will have the throw-in duties, and his back-up will be Adriaan Strauss, who was named in the reserves after only joining the squad on Tuesday.

Brits will start a Test for the first time tomorrow, while Strauss is yet to play at Test level.

But Bok captain Victor Matfield said the pair were up to the challenge.

"We're very happy," he said of the duo. "We've had a good week with Schalk and his throwing is looking very good at the moment.

"Adriaan had a session this morning and he's a great thrower, as we know from back home."

De Villiers said he always had Spies pencilled in for the Wallabies clash, while leaving out Montgomery was a tough decision.

The Australians also have absentees from their best line-out, with lock Dan Vickerman not considered as he continues his comeback from injury.

South African team to face Wallabies: Conrad Jantjes, JP Petersen, Francois Steyn, Jean de Villiers, Bryan Habana, Butch James, Ricky Januarie, Pierre Spies, Juan Smith, Schalk Burger, Victor Matfield (capt), Bakkies Botha, CJ van der Linde, Schalk Brits, Gurthro Steenkamp. - Sapa-AFP

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