The Wallabies have made yet another change at fullback, recalling Reece Hodge to the starting side to face the Springboks at the Adelaide Oval on Saturday afternoon.
Hodge replaces Tom Wright in the No. 15 jersey, after the Brumbies flyer started both of Australia’s Tests against Argentina at the back, which the Wallabies split one each with the Pumas.
It will be a second start at fullback for the long-time Wallabies utility this season, after Hodge filled the role in the third Test defeat by England in Sydney.
The Wallabies had the option to select the fit-again Andrew Kellaway to start in Adelaide, but have instead looked to Hodge to help combat what is expected to be a concerted aerial assault from the Springboks.
Wallabies coach Dave Rennie will name the remainder of his squad later Thursday, with hooker Dave Porecki, prop Allan Alaalatoa, fly-half Noah Lolesio and inside centre Hunter Paisami all tipped to return to the starting side.
Australia will be looking to bounce back from their capitulation against Argentina in San Juan, when they were shredded by a free-flowing Pumas outfit that piled on six tries in a 48-17 thumping.
Fly-half James O’Connor was the high-profile casualty of that defeat, the Queenslander left out of Rennie’s 35-man squad for the two Tests against South Africa, creating the space for Bernard Foley to return to the Test arena for the first time since 2019.
Foley is not expected to win a place in the 23 in Adelaide given he hasn’t played since late May, but he could well come into consideration for the next week’s Test at Sydney’s rebuilt Allianz Stadium.
The Springboks have been in Adelaide since the weekend, flying in from South Africa where they split their opening Rugby Championship Tests one apiece with the All Blacks.