Australia and South Africa will meet on Saturday at Johannesburg’s Emirates Airline Park in the first match of the 2019 Rugby Championship.
The match begins at 11:05 a.m. ET. It won’t be on regular TV in the United States, but you can watch South Africa vs Australia Rugby on ESPN+, the digital streaming service from ESPN that has exclusive coverage of every Rugby Championship 2019 match, other live sports, all the 30-for-30 documentaries and additional original content for $4.99 per month.
You can sign up for ESPN+ right here, and you can then watch a live stream of the Springboks vs Wallabies on your computer via ESPN.com, or on your phone (Android and iPhone compatible), tablet, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, or other streaming device via the ESPN app.
South Africa vs Australia Rugby Championship Preview
Australia haven’t claimed the tournament title since 2015; New Zealand have won the other six editions since Argentina joined in 2012, a move that converted the Tri-Nations Series into the Rugby Championship. As in 2015, this year’s tournament will be truncated — with teams playing three matches apiece — due to the upcoming World Cup.
The Wallabies have found little success in the past four years — since finishing second behind New Zealand in the 2015 World Cup, they’ve notched just 17 wins in 42 matches.
Perhaps relatedly, South Africa have elected to rest some key cogs for Saturday’s match, such as Faf de Klerk, Malcolm Marx, and Handre Pollard.
“Although there might be a bit of noise out there against us, there is a lot of people behind us,” Wallabies head coach Michael Cheika said, according to The Sydney Morning Herald. “We want to make sure we make them proud on the weekend.
“We know that we’re coming from well back. A lot has been said about the rugby in Australia in the last six months and where we want to show what Australian rugby is about is on the field. We’re going to put everything out there.”
Though his side is sitting some stars, Springboks head coach Rassie Erasmus claimed the Wallabies are always dangerous in a World Cup year.
“It makes everybody nervous,” Erasmus said, per the Herald. “History tends to show they get it right. They were in the previous final. It makes you nervous because they tend to get it right. So that is why it is a massive game for us.
“In the years I’ve been involved in World Cups, they get it right in the build-up. Coming here two weeks [before the test] and getting used to altitude, having a bigger squad and sending some boys back, it just feels like they are really well planned and organized and it feels like they are really peaking towards the World Cup.”
Scrum-half Herschel Jantjies will make his Springboks debut. The 23-year-old impressed for Super Rugby club the Stormers of Cape Town this year after veteran Jano Vermaak went down with an injury.
“When Herschel came up against some of the best scrum-halves in Super Rugby this season, he stood his ground,” Erasmus said, according to SuperSport.
“He has been consistently good this year and slotted in really well when he joined our training camp.
“Having a number of his Stormers teammates around him has also helped and now he gets an opportunity to show us what he can do at test level.”
Source: New feed