South African lock Eben Etzebeth is one of the big men of whom Australia will have to be wary. Photo: Getty Images
The need for the Wallabies to correct their failings at the breakdown in Saturday's Test against the Springboks in Cape Town rests as much with the backs as the forwards, says Michael Hooper.
Speaking on Monday before the Wallabies flew from Sydney to South Africa, the specialist No.7 also said Australia must ''out-enthuse'' the Springboks at the breakdown unlike during their 38-12 loss in Brisbane.
Asked how the Wallabies can turn around the outcome of their back-row battle against a massive Springboks opposition, Hooper said: ''Their back row were very good last time. Very physical across the whole forward pack.
Michael Hooper. Photo: Sebastian Costanzo
''We will be flying into it, that's the only way, I think. We have to out-enthuse these guys at the breakdown and in contact, so in Cape Town it will be a tough one.''
But then Hooper reminded that the Springboks had overpowered the Wallabies across the park.
''The forwards can't be everywhere and there was a lot in the wide channels where we got done and turned over ball,'' Hooper said.
''There's responsibility for the backs and the team as a whole.''
Hooper may be the only specialist No.7 touring with the Wallabies with their final match against the Pumas in Argentina next week.
However, Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie has said that if Hooper is ruled out for any reason, he will fly over Queensland Reds flanker Liam Gill.
With the Springboks generally not relying on a fetcher's role for their back row, preferring to opt for size, Hooper believes there will be opportunities for steals.
''It makes it easier for a fetcher if there are low tackles and you are chopping down these guys early because then you can still get to the ball,'' he said. ''In saying that, I think [Francois] Louw is a bit of a fetcher. He plays a bit of a fetcher role. He's a big guy, but he's got quite good position over the ball and things like that.
''[Duane] Vermeulen was probably the pick of the bunch last time and we have to make sure we shut him down.''
The Wallabies will probably watch another replay of their Springboks loss. ''You have to actually think what happened in the game to realise it wasn't such a flogging and it wasn't too much to turn around. That's what we're taking from that,'' he said.