Wallabies flanker Michael Hooper is bracing himself for a tough physical battle from the Springboks in Saturday's clash in Perth.
Hooper is hoping to replicate the injured David Pocock's pilfering role against the Boks who will start the Test without a specialist openside flanker.
The 20-year-old expects a battering from his opponents at the breakdown but also sees the absence of a ball-poaching loose forward from the South Africans as a chance for him to make his mark in the Test arena.
"I guess when you're going for a turnover or putting your head in the breakdown, they come in flying," Hooper told AAP.
"But in saying that, you've got a bit of an opportunity, a bit of a window to force a turnover, because they are bigger blokes.
"They probably will be a step or two (slower) than if they were playing a traditional seven.
"There's opportunities there, but you've got to be prepared to be belted."
Former Wallabies flanker George Smith was the player Hooper idolised when he was growing up and he recently received a call from his hero when he was chosen as Pocock's replacement for the Test against the All Blacks in Auckland.
"It was nice to hear from a legend like him," Hooper said.
"He gave me some little words of wisdom about what to expect.
"I got to spend his last year in Australia with him down at the Brumbies and I learned a lot off him.
"He's a great bloke off the field as well as player on."