29 Sep 2012

Springbok Steyn ruled out with injury

9:31 am on 29 September 2012

The Wallabies aren't expecting South Africa to change their Rugby Championship game plan following the loss of injured centre Francois Steyn, who has been replaced by debutant Jaco Taute.

Australia have their own injury concerns with backrower Scott Higginbotham highly unlikely to play after failing to take the field for their captain's run, troubled by a back injury.

The experienced Steyn, with 53 Tests, was ruled out of the Loftus Versfeld clash with an ankle injury and now have five-eighth Johan Goosen in his first start and only third Test, and rookie Taute.

The 21-year-old Lions back will wear the No.13 jersey with captain Jean de Villiers shifting to inside centre.

Juan de Jongh will takes Taute's place on bench.

Prop Coenie Oosthuizen has also been ruled out with neck and shoulder soreness and has been replaced on the bench by Pat Cilliers.

Wallabies skipper Nathan Sharpe didn't think the Springboks structure would change with the insertion of attack-minded Taute.

The Wallabies will give Higginbotham until game day before deciding his fate but given that Mike Harris was presented with a playing jersey at their final training run, it appears sealed.

The inclusion of Harris means their bench switching from a 5-2 split of forwards and backs on the bench to a 4-3 split.

Wallabies fans would however have been delighted to see both Harris and Kurtley Beale nail goals from 60m out at their session at Loftus, relishing the high altitude conditions.

The team walked the ground, stopping every 10 metres or so to gather with arms locked in a tight circle and no doubt discuss the possibility of making history as the first Australians to clinch a win in the Springboks' Pretoria strong-hold.