Australian wing Lote Tuqiri expects his team to stand up to the physical challenge of playing the Springboks – and hand out some punishment of their own.
Tuqiri missed the Wallabies’ 40-10 win over France with a knee injury but has recovered to be named in the starting team for Saturday’s Test. While he acknowledged the Test would be physically demanding, he expected his team-mates to also dish out some rough stuff.
“It’s no place for the faint-hearted – the Tri-Nations – and there’s certainly guys in our team who like that stuff and don’t shy away, so everyone’s looking forward to a good contest,” Tuqiri told the West Australian.
Much as been said of Boks’ aggressive tactics, with Kiwi flyhalf Dan Carter voicing his distress at the attention he received, but Tuqiri believes this is all part of a competition such as the Tri-Nations.
“The last two games between the All Blacks and the Boks have been, obviously, very physical and we expect nothing different on Saturday night and nothing different for the rest of the tournament.” said Tuqiri.
Tuqiri has stressed the importance of standing up to the Springboks.
“You definitely have to be up for the physical contest as everyone knows,” he said.
Flanker George Smith, who held off the challenge from Phil Waugh and will win his 87th cap at the Subiaco Oval, concurred with Tuqiri’s sentiments.
“It’s always that case – the Tri-Nations is always a high-intensity game and the aggression levels are up there,” said Smith.
“We’re under no illusions that this is going to be a tough match, the Springboks coming off a win against the Blacks over there in New Zealand. It’s always a tough win and it’s going to be a tough night for us,” said Smith.