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The Springboks will field weakened teams against Australia and New Zealand in the opening two rounds of the Rugby Championship.

Springboks coach Rassie Erasmus says that the priority for his team in the Rugby Championship is ensuring his squad are in good shape for the Rugby World Cup in Japan.

Springboks

To that end, Erasmus will attempt to manage his resources and will not field a full-strength XV against the Wallabies at Ellis Park in the first match of the Rugby Championship on 27 July.

The Springboks have not won the tournament since Argentina were added and the name changed from the Tri-Nations to the Rugby Championship in 2012. Erasmus said that while winning the tournament would constitute the ideal preparation for the World Cup he was not prepared to risk burning out his best players ahead of the quadrennial showpiece that gets underway in September.

The coach made it clear that neither the team that faces Australia nor the one that will tackle New Zealand in Wellington the following week would be what would constitute a first choice XV, with resources to be split to give the Boks a shot at victory while ensuring workloads are carefully managed.

Springboks Rugby schedule