Aussie wrap (Wed)

Keo.co.za brings you the latest news from Australia’s year-end tour.

Barnes set to run at 10

Berrick Barnes is set to make his return to action at flyhalf for Australia against Italy on Saturday, while Timana Tahu is also in line to be given a run against the Azzurri.

Barnes who came off the bench last weekend in Hong Kong was often seen running at pivot with Matt Giteau moving out to inside centre.

“This is an opportunity to cater for potential challenges we haven’t encountered yet. One thing we have to cater for is at No10,” said coach Robbie Deans.

“Barnes right now is our second No10, but there is a possibilitouy he’ll get some time in that position, which he hasn’t had since this time last year.”

Deans has made it clear that he will use this tour to give as many players as possible a chance to prove their credentials. It looks certain that Tahu will run at 12 this weekend as Deans is eager to give him another chance after his forgettable debut against the Springboks in the Tri-Nations.

“His [Tahu's] confidence is coming back through the work he has done at training. But he’s one of those blokes who will be given an opportunity, so that he can press on,” said Deans.

Tahu has chance at redemption

Timana Tahu has the chance to resurrect his international rugby career on Saturday after earning a recal at centre for the Wallabies’ tour opener against Italy.

Tahu came in for some stiff criticism after a nightmare debut against the Springboks in Johannesburg and will be looking to repay the faith shown in him by coach Robbie Deans against Italy this weekend.

“I think everyone knows that during that South African game my defence wasn’t up to scratch,” said Tahu.

“It’s just more communication on set plays and it’s something I’ve worked on – reading their attack – and I think I now have it down pat and am 100% confident going out there.”

More to follow …