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Burger wary of Australia boost

South Africa star Schalk Burger has acknowledged back-row rival David Pocock's return from injury is "a massive boost" for Australia heading into Sunday's World Cup quarter-final.

Wallabies openside flanker Pocock missed much of the tournament's pool stage due to injury, but he is poised for a key role this weekend. Pocock's ability to steal opposition ball at the breakdown makes him a huge threat for a South African side bidding to retain their world title over the next 18 days.

Springboks blindside Burger said: "The breakdown is always a tough area, and if you dominate you will usually go well in the game. David is one of the best openside flankers in world rugby at the moment, so if he gets opportunities he will definitely turn it (possession) over."

He added: "The way the breakdown is interpreted at the moment it is probably a 70-30 split for the attacking side, so I think there is a good balance at this World Cup.

"Hopefully, on Sunday, we can get a good balance between attack and defence for both sides."

South Africa have arrived in the last eight after they emerged unbeaten from Pool D, prevailing despite suffering major scares against Wales and Samoa.

And they are widely viewed as the country most likely to stop red-hot favourites New Zealand from being crowned world champions.

Burger added: "I don't think we are at a stage of the competition where we are going to change much.

"It looks like the weather is going to be all right. If we were playing today (in fierce wind and rain), I suppose our tactics would have been quite different. There is a fair bit of wind around in Wellington, and territory will be very important, so whichever way you find fit to get territory advantage you will use.

"But the weather looks good at the moment, and hopefully it stays that way, both sides can play some enterprising rugby and it will be a great spectacle."


From Belfast Telegraph