Hodge confident of cracking Boks’ defence

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Reece Hodge says the Wallabies will bring a tailor-made attack to Saturday’s Test designed to rattle the Springboks.

The challenge, though, will be to finally get it right after equal amounts of brilliance and blunder during a so-far unsuccessful Rugby Championship.

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika looks set to persist with incumbent playmakers Kurtley Beale and Matt Toomua in the run-on side, with Bernard Foley to continue life as a second-half substitute in Port Elizabeth.

Outside centre Hodge and a floating Israel Folau will be among those waiting to capitalise if that trio can deliver against a South African side buoyed by a last-start defeat of the All Blacks in New Zealand.

“It’s frustrating, that’s the word that sums it up because we all know what we can produce on our day, but consistency is what’s killing us at the moment,” he said.

“We are capable of some brilliance … (and Saturday) is an opportunity to show what we’re really capable of.

“We’ve got some interesting plays we’ve designed around how the Springboks have defended, with some exciting prospects for both myself and the outside backs.”

Beale and Toomua are yet to truly flourish after back-to-back Tests as a No.10 and 12 combination but should get another crack as the visitors chase their first win on South African soil since 2011.

And Folau’s impact as a winger who floats infield for more action is another project that excites Hodge.

“In terms of how our moves work this week, there’s a few moves we might be interchanging a little bit,” he said of their new-look partnership.

“There is an exciting prospect of Izzy getting involved more in the front line and getting us that go-forward ball to play off the phase.”

Changes will be made to the side that lost to Argentina on the Gold Coast, with backrow pair Pete Samu (knee) and Lukhan Tui (personal leave) touring party absentees.

Rob Simmons could be a wildcard option at No.6 as Cheika looks for height in that position, however Ned Hanigan appears the front-runner to earn a start alongside fit-again captain Michael Hooper.

Adam Coleman will push to start after missing the Wallabies’ defeat of the Springboks in Brisbane and coming off the bench on the Gold Coast following the birth of his first child.

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