Nic White, James Slipper start for Wallabies in second Test vs. Springboks

Nic White will make his first Wallabies start for the year, after he was promoted ahead of Tate McDermott for the second Rugby Championship Test against the Springboks on Saturday.

White is one of three changes to the team that defeated South Africa on the Gold Coast, with James Slipper returning at loosehead prop and Taniela Tupou packing down on the other side of the front-row.

Angus Bell has dropped back to the bench after a solid outing on Sunday, while Brumbies skipper Allan Alaalatoa has left the squad to return to Canberra for the birth of his first child.

White, meanwhile, has been rewarded for an excellent second-half showing on the Gold Coast after McDermott had picked up a shin injury at Cbus Super Stadium. The Brumbies No. 9 was at his irritable best in the second stanza, while he also executed the first 50/22 kick in Test rugby under World Rugby's global law trial.

"He's [McDermott] available, he's obviously on the bench, we took him off at halftime based on an injury; he tried to clear a kick and collected [Eben] Etzebeth at the same time and got a bit of a knock on his shin which made it difficult for him to run. So he had his first day back running yesterday, and he's ready to go," Wallabies coach Dave Rennie said when asked about the decision at No. 9.

"But as a I mentioned before, we're pretty fortunate around the depth of our 9s, we reckon we've got four high quality 9s here, but Tate's been excellent.

"We think that Whitey's been really strong off the bench the last couple of games, and we think it's a good mix the quality of Whitey's skill set early and Tate's ability to break up a game against tiring forwards. So that's the thinking."

White will partner Quade Cooper in the halves, the Queenslander retaining the No. 10 jersey after a superb performance in his first Test in four years. There is still no sign of James O'Connor, however, with Reece Hodge providing utility cover off the bench.

Unfortunately for O'Connor, a plan for him to get some valuable playing time against members of the wider Argentina squad fell through this week.

"The original plan, as we did with Quade [who] had a hitout against the Force the week before that Test, just to get him some footy, and we did have a game jacked up against the Argentinians this Friday to give all our squad a run and obviously give James a decent hitout, and unfortunately that game has now fallen through.

"So yeah, the thinking was to get James some footy. But he's in really nick, he's looking sharp, we're pretty confident that he'll be ready to go next week."

Darcy Swain, meanwhile, returns among the replacements while Tom Robertson will also have the opportunity to play his first Test since 2018, capping a successful switch to the Western Force for the NSW-raised front-rower.

Saturday's Test, which is the first of another Rugby Championship double-header, this time at Suncorp Stadium, will be an historic occasion for Michael Hooper who will become the most-capped Wallabies skipper of all time.

Hooper last week equalled George Gregan's mark of 59 Tests as Australia captain, with the 29-year-old set to hold the record on his own from kick-off on Saturday night.

"It's an incredible milestone for Hoops on Saturday evening in Brisbane and it's a testament to him as a person and a player," Wallabies coach Dave Rennie said.

"I've been so impressed with his leadership both on and off the field and his drive to be better every day.

"We were really proud of the effort from our men last Sunday and we're well aware of the ferocity that a wounded Springboks outfit will bring to Suncorp Stadium."

The Wallabies are chasing back-to-back Test wins for the first time under Rennie.

AUSTRALIA: Tom Banks, Andrew Kellaway, Len Ikitau, Samu Kerevi, Marika Koroibete, Quade Cooper, Nic White; Rob Valetini, Michael Hooper, Lachie Swinton, Matt Philip, Izack Rodda, Taniela Tupou, Folau Fainga'a, James Slipper. Replacements: Feleti Kaitu'u, Angus Bell, Tom Robertson, Darcy Swain, Pete Samu, Tate McDermott, Reece Hodge, Jordan Petaia.