'There was no shock or anything like that in the camp‚' says Boks captain Siya Kolisi
Springboks captain Siya Kolisi says he is not surprised by the unexpected changes that were made by Australia coach Michael Cheika ahead of their Rugby Championship clash at the Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane on Saturday.
Cheika stunned rugby fans here when he dropped the highly experienced Bernard Foley to the bench and opted for Kurtley Beale as a playmaker.
Kolisi said it was clear that Cheika intends to use an attacking game plan as the Australians will be looking for their first win in the Rugby Championship after back-to-back defeats to New Zealand.
“Putting Beale there in the place of Foley clearly shows that they want to attack us‚” said Kolisi.
“We know they are a good attacking side and they are also very good at the breakdown with some of the best players.
"It is going to be an interesting match for both teams‚ but we are ready and looking forward to the challenge.”
Springboks coach Rassie Erasmus also made six changes with the notable elevation of flyhalf Elton Jantjies to the starting line-up in the place of struggling Handrè Pollard.
Kolisi said the players knew three weeks ago that Erasmus would make changes.
“He (Jantjies) is very excited about the opportunity to start again and he knew about this for the past three weeks‚" he said.
"He has been working very hard and he is one of the most professional guys in the team.
"When he is not playing‚ he is always studying the opposition and it is good to have a guy like him who is competitive.
“We knew about the changes three weeks ago already.
"The coach has a plan on how we want to do things in the lead up to the World Cup next year.
"There was no shock or anything like that in the camp.
"We will not be changing the plan just because of the changes that have been made to the starting line-up‚” he said‚ adding that they want to improve their away performances.
The Boks were embarrassed by Argentina in Mendoza two weeks ago in what was their first away match of the season.
They can’t afford to slip up here in Brisbane.
“We haven’t travelled well and against Argentina in Mendoza was just one of those things that should not happen in a Springboks jersey‚" he said.
"We are not at a stage where we are worried that we can’t win away.
"But this weekend is important for us as a team and the Championship as a whole.
"Last year we did not have a good away record as well and a win for us here in Australia will help us with confidence and keep the competition alive.
"It was tough losing in Argentina‚ it was not part of the plan because we wanted to win.”