Rogers starts on wing for Aussies

Australia utility back Mat Rogers, who has missed the past month with a knee injury, will start on the wing against South Africa in Saturday's must-win Test at Subiaco Oval in Perth. [more]

Lions Australia Tour 2013

Australia utility back Mat Rogers, who has missed the past month with a knee injury, will start on the wing against South Africa in Saturday’s must-win Test at Subiaco Oval in Perth.

Defeat will mean Australia will have lost their last four Tests, three against the Springboks and last week’s 30-13 thumping by New Zealand.

Rogers comes into the starting line-up in place of rookie Mark Gerrard, who injured his hamstring at training on Wednesday.

Australian Under-21 outside back Adam Ashley-Cooper joined the team in Perth late on Thursday and trained on Friday morning.

A decision on the final makeup of the reserves bench will not be made until just before kick-off on Saturday night.

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Starting for the first time since injuring his knee in South Africa four weeks ago, Rogers is looking forward to the opportunity of playing on the wing.

"It’s going to be a good challenge. Watching over the last month has been hard and I’m looking forward to being able to come out and hopefully offer something to the team," Rogers said.

"I can’t wait to get out there really. I’ve been excited all week just at the opportunity of being in the 22 and now to be given this opportunity to start, I’m pretty excited."

Meanwhile, Sprinboks coach Jake White has played down his team’s chances of beating Australia in Saturday’s clash.

White, whose side have beaten the Wallabies and the All Blacks at home in their opening fixtures of the tournament, believes his players have it all to prove on their travels.

"We are the team under pressure because we have not won an away Test against one of the big teams in 15 attempts," White said.

"We were in exactly the same situation in Sydney last month because there were a lot of expectations, not only by the team, but people back home. We ended up losing badly.

"When you look at the records of the top five or six sides in the world they count for little when a match takes place. You have to get it right on the weekend.

"I watched a rugby show last night and someone said eventually we are going to win away from home, and hopefully this is the weekend we do it, but we’re taking nothing for granted."

White also pointed out previous Springbok performances against the Wallabies as evidence that recent form counts for little when it comes to choosing a winner.

"We have been in the same situation that Australia are in," White said.

"A lot of players in this team have been where Australia are currently and know how it feels, but I don’t believe you can read too much into what’s happened before."

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