Springbok duo Cobus Reinach and Deon Fourie are hoping to make an impact off the bench against the Wallabies in Sydney on Saturday.
Reinach, who has recovered from a hamstring injury, will provide scrumhalf cover for Jaden Hendrikse in his first Test of the year.
Fourie, who made his Springbok debut as a replacement flanker in the second Test against Wales in July, has been named as replacement hooker for Malcolm Marx.
Reinach, who last played for the Springboks against England in November last year, said he was raring to go.
“If you look at the way we train I don’t think anyone is coming in cold,” Reinach told the Springboks’ official website.
“We go full on at training, as we train the way we want to play. I have also been part of the squad from the beginning of the season, so even though I haven’t played in months I’m excited to get onto the park and play.
“It is really nice to be back, I’m so excited to get onto the field I can’t sleep at night.”
Fourie hasn’t played hooker in recent times but it’s not a position he’s unfamiliar with.
“In my 16 years as a professional rugby player I’ve played more at hooker than flanker, so I am more experienced at hooker,” said Fourie.
“Throwing in the lineouts is only a small part of the game. There are many other areas to the game too.
“That said, I’ve been training hard, and it has been going well, so I’m looking forward to this chance.”
Fourie believes being a utility player counts in his favour.
“Some people may think it is negative to be a utility player, but I think it is great for the team if you have a player who can cover two or three positions.”
15 Reece Hodge, 14 Tom Wright, 13 Len Ikitau, 12 Hunter Paisami, 11 Marika Koroibete, 10 Noah Lolesio, 9 Nic White, 8 Rob Valetini, 7 Fraser McReight, 6 Jed Holloway; 5 Matt Philip, 4 Rory Arnold; 3 Allan Alaalatoa, 2 Folau Fainga’a, 1 James Slipper (captain)
Substitutes: 16 David Porecki, 17 Scott Sio, 18 Taniela Tupou, 19 Darcy Swain, 20 Rob Leota, 21 Pete Samu, 22 Jake Gordon, 23 Andrew Kellaway
15 Willie le Roux, 14 Canan Moodie, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Damian Willemse, 9 Jaden Hendrikse, 8 Jasper Wiese, 7 Franco Mostert, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Steven Kitshoff
Substitutes: 16 Deon Fourie, 17 Ox Nche, 18 Trevor Nyakane, 19 Kwagga Smith, 20 Duane Vermeulen, 21 Cobus Reinach, 22 Frans Steyn, 23 Warrick Gelant
Following Bok coach Jacques Nienaber’s comments that he could see Fourie possibly fulfilling a similar role to experienced hooker Schalk Brits at the 2019 Rugby World Cup, Fourie admitted the prospect of going to France in 2023 was on his mind.
“There is excitement but pressure as well to keep my game up,” said Fourie.
“When I came back to South Africa last year I didn’t think I’d be sitting here with a Springbok on my chest, so hopefully I can go out there, do my best.”
Reinach, meanwhile, said he looked forward to having a run alongside talented flyhalf Damian Willemse.
“Any player brings his own identity to a game, and Damian will do the same as he comes in for Handre (Pollard), so I’m excited to play alongside him. All I expect from him is good communication and I will give him what he wants,” said Reinach.
Saturday’s Test in Sydney kicks off at 11:35 (SA time).