Springboks ready for payback as Wallabies eye off No.3 ranking

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Springboks ready for payback as Wallabies eye off No.3 ranking

By Tom Decent

The Wallabies will climb to third on the world rankings for the first time in over three years if they can register another win over the Springboks, whose captain was unaware on Friday that his side could lose their No.1 mantle.

A crowd of over 35,000 is expected at Suncorp Stadium to watch the Wallabies do battle with the Springboks, six days after Australia’s 28-26 win on the Gold Coast, before the All Blacks take on Argentina at the same venue.

Wallabies coach Dave Rennie and captain Michael Hooper on Friday.

Wallabies coach Dave Rennie and captain Michael Hooper on Friday. Credit:Getty

The Wallabies aren’t getting ahead of themselves after Quade Cooper’s after-the-siren heroics last week but have a chance to rebound in a big way after three All Blacks defeats.

Australia will rise from fifth to third on the world rankings if they can beat South Africa for the second time in as many weeks, at a venue where the Wallabies are enjoying a nine-game winning streak.

However, the Wallabies have not won back-to-back Tests against South Africa since 2016.

The last time Australia sat third on the world rankings was after their 18-9 victory over Ireland in 2018.

Quade Cooper, right, celebrates with Reece Hodge after kicking the winning penalty last weekend.

Quade Cooper, right, celebrates with Reece Hodge after kicking the winning penalty last weekend.Credit:Getty

The team has crashed to as low as seventh in the years since and so tight are rankings at the moment that Australia could fall that low again if they lose to South Africa and Argentina beat New Zealand.

The All Blacks will be quietly cheering on Australia given South Africa, the reigning world champions, could lose their No.1 ranking.

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New Zealand will move atop the rankings if they beat Argentina by more than 15 points and South Africa lose to Australia.

The Wallabies during a team photo on Friday ahead of their clash against South Africa.

The Wallabies during a team photo on Friday ahead of their clash against South Africa. Credit:Getty

World Cup winning Springboks captain Siya Kolisi was surprised when told on Friday about the rankings permutations.

“Winning is what we care about,” Kolisi said. “We know that’s the only way we can maintain that [ranking]. We want to win this weekend but I didn’t know we could lose the No.1 spot.

“We won’t focus on that. We want to get back in the competition.”

Even if South Africa fall to the Wallabies, the recent British and Irish Lions series winners get a chance to redeem themselves against New Zealand on September 25 in Townsville.

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“We are more determined this week,” Kolisi said. “We were determined [last week], we just didn’t show that on the field. I think Australia played really well and credit to them but we can do much better this weekend and we will.”

Meanwhile, Argentina will climb above France into fifth spot if they beat New Zealand and could even rise to fourth if they win by more than 15 points and Australia suffer a defeat.

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