Pressure on Aussies

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Australia need a drastic improvement to halt South Africa's push towards rugby union history in today's Tri- Nations Test in Sydney, the Wallabies' coach, Greg Smith, warned yesterday.

The Springboks, who won the World Cup on home soil last year, need two more wins to equal New Zealand's record of 17 successive Test victories, set in the 1960s.

Smith believes his side, who suffered a record 43-6 defeat by New Zealand in Wellington last week, will have their work cut out to end South Africa's two-year unbeaten run in Test matches. He has warned his players that their Test futures would be at stake against South Africa.

Australia's mauling by the All Blacks prompted selectors to make four changes, with stand-off Pat Howard, prop Andrew Heath, scrum-half George Gregan and flanker Daniel Manu replacing Scott Bowen, Sam Payne, Owen Finegan and Richard Harry respectively.

South Africa make two changes to the team that defeated Fiji 43-18 in Pretoria 10 days ago, with Pieter Hendricks returning from illness at the expense of Justin Swart and Brendan Venter replacing the injured Hennie le Roux.

AUSTRALIA: M Burke; B Tune, J Roff, T Horan, D Campese; P Howard, G Gregan; M Brial, D Wilson, D Manu, J Eales (capt), G Morgan, A Heath, M Foley, D Crowley.

SOUTH AFRICA: A Joubert; J Small, J Mulder, B Venter, P Hendricks; H Honiball, J van der Westhuizen; G Teichmann, R Kruger, F Pienaar (capt), M Andrews, J Ackermann, M Hurter, J Allan, O du Randt.