Boks expect tactical battle

Springbok captain Jean de Villiers says conditions will determine their approach against Australia in Perth on Saturday.

With rain expected to come down at Patersons Stadium, the Springboks will have to adapt accordingly if they're to outsmart the Wallabies in their backyard.

The Boks were foolhardy in their approach against Argentina in atrocious conditions at Loftus, and almost paid the ultimate price. With Morné Steyn restored to the flyhalf berth, a more measured game plan is expected in Perth, especially if forecasts prove correct.

'The weather tomorrow will prohibit us from playing the way we would like to, and I think the same goes for Australia,' said De Villiers at Friday's press conference. 'The conditions will make it difficult to throw the ball around, but we must show that we're able to adapt.

'Sometimes you get the flashy games where you score plenty of tries. Sometimes it's just about brute strength and an ability to out-think the opposition. I think tomorrow will be one of those games.'

Australian coach Ewen McKenzie has opted for Nick Phipps and Bernard Foley as his halfback combination, alluding to a change of approach for the Wallabies.

'They've [Australia] come a long way since this time last year, and they have the players now to play a more tactical game,' admitted De Villiers.

While Morné Steyn's boot will help the Boks execute their more territory-based approach, they'll still need their forwards to provide a solid platform, something they failed to do in their opening two fixtures against Argentina.

'Tomorrow will be an occasion where we will need our forwards to be at their best,' said De Villiers before turning his attention to the Wallabies. 'That is an aspect where they have improved a lot as well, the Waratahs showed that during Super Rugby this year.'

Preview: Wallabies vs Springboks

Photo: Lee Warren/Gallo Images